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About the course  

The Make Your Marks and Splashes! online course on children's book illustration focuses on  three main competencies that children's book art directors and editors will be looking for in your portfolio. Do you know what these are? Drawing, Composition and Color. 

In Mark's engaging video lessons you'll discover how to make these "big three" core skills your own. You'll learn how to paint in traditional watercolors with more charm and assurance while retaining your personal style. 

The 'Marks and Splashes' course includes video interviews with successful children's book illustrators and tips on how to market your work in a rapidly changing publishing environment.

Course modules:  

Module One cover
1.) Dauntless Drawing and Design  

How to create living line art that will serve as the "blueprint" for your painted illustration.

1.)      A scribbled start -- your story's first thumbnail  drawings
2.)     Deciphering the secret code of the picture book
3.)     Keys to good storyboarding
4.)     Best practices for hunting and using picture references
5.)     Comfortably fitting the round world into your picture space
6.)     Tricks for setting your "puppet stage"
7.)     The secret of good design
8.)     Creating and staying consistent with your visual characters  

* How to draw the way a child sees. (Session 16) 

* Two drastically different drawing approaches – and why you need both for most pictures. (Sessions 1,2,8)

* How to fascinate the viewer's eye. (Sessions 14) 

* How to compose multiple figures in action. (Session 16)

* The “Howard Pyle theorem” -- and how it helps your pictures to connect emotionally with viewers. (Session 8)

* The ' Lynne and Tessa' factor and how to engage viewers' imaginations and  participation in your pictures (Session 15)

* How to draw interiors so that a viewer feels she's standing inside them. (Sessions 11-13) 

* Best approaches for drawing people and children. (Session 17)

* How to place your picture elements so that viewers believe in the world of your picture. (Sessions 11-13)

* How to keep your sketches alive all the way through the process, from storyboard to full sketches (Sessions 8-10)

* Easily transfer your pencil sketches to your painting surface. (Sessions 1-13) 

Power Color Module cover

2.) Command Your Color

A simple approach for unlocking the most beautiful color in your painting

1.)  The truths nobody mentions about using artists' pigments. 
2.)   "Dueling colors" and why they're essential
3.)   Why "mud" is good for a painting.
4.)   How to unleash the full power of your palette to turn your pictures into color poems.

Available as a stand alone course

* The #1 job that color must do in your painting.  Knowing this will transform how you think about your art! (Sessions 6-7)

* How to control your colors so that every hue in your picture sings.(Sessions 5-7)

* How to never again feel limited, or confused by your color choices. (Sessions 5-7)

* How to create your own simple, laser-accurate color wheel.You won't believe the results it will bring you when you learn how to really use it! (Sessions 5-7)

* Five enchanted color relationships. Use any one of them to bring poetry to your picture! Ignore their magic at your peril. (Sessions 5-7)

Module 3 cover
3.) Painting Pretty

How to handle watercolor the professional way, which is to say the easy way

1.)    How to paint with charm and assurance
2.)    Secrets for making your brush behave

3.)    Painting with light, water and the white of the paper. 
4.)    Confidently push your darks and force your value patterns.
5.)    Master your 'watercolor grammar' with four basic brush techniques   

How to quickly ascend your painting learning curve. (Sessions 5-7 and 16 -19)

* How to paint with bravura in watercolor - and why you have to. (It's not as hard as you think.) (Session 16-19 )

* Change fear into fun at every step of your painting .
(Sessions 1-19)

* How to easily spot and fix your picture's problems before they torpedo your story scenes. (Session 17-19)

Module Four cover
4.) Find Your Place in the Marketplace

Showcase your work and n
avigate your way in a changing publishing environment.

  1.)    Clarifying "copyright."
  2.)    How to know when you're ready to show.
  3.)    Meaningful networking for artists.
  4.)    Best ways to put up your shingle online 
  5.)    How to 'de-commodify' your art and self.
  6.)    How to prepare your final art for sending 
  7.)    Do you have a 'style'? Do you want one?
  9.)   The puzzle of literary agents and art reps
11.)    Mental health for creatives
12.)    Finding 'good homes' for your illustrated stories

* Do you really need an author-illustrator "platform?" (Sessions 20 and 21) 

* How to comfortably enter the world of children's book artists, writers, editors, publishers, agents  and art reps. (Sessions 20 and 21) 

* How to professionally present your portfolios, picture book proposals and illustration samples (Session 20.)

* The smart ways to promote yourself to editors, art directors and agents.

Illustrating for e-books and interactive apps for iPads and other touch screen portable devices.. 

Enroll now and enjoy three months of online group critiques of your work with course creator Mark Mitchell and special guest critiquers.

Shave years off your illustration and painting learning curve,
improve your marks and splashes and enjoy the fun with one of the most inspiring art curriculums available online.

Tuition (full course):


Click the orange button below now. You'll find the space to enter your Children's Book Academy or Christmas season special sale code on the enrollment form on the next page.

Enroll now button

Young Clara

Make Your Splashes - Make Your Marks!
A self-paced course on drawing and painting for children's books, magazines and other media
Content © Copyright 2010 by Mark G. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved

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Marks and Splashes Online Learning -- Austin, TX  -  (512) 656-9217