From Pencil or Paint to Pixel: A Two-Night Mini for Beginning Illustrators

Online | Illustration
Beginning illustrators can join children’s book author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur to talk about approaches to using different media (traditional and/or digital) in your illustrations. Special guest Aram Kim will join us the second day for ten tips about submitting work to an art director (traditional and/or digital).

May 28 @ 7:00 pm - May 30 @ 7:00 pm




A Two-Night Mini Online Course

Beginning illustrators can join children’s book author/illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur to talk about approaches to using different media (traditional and/or digital) in your illustrations. Special guest Aram Kim will join us the second day for ten tips about submitting work to an art director (traditional and/or digital). This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

  • Tuesday, May 28 (7pm – 8:15pm Eastern)
  • Thursday, May 30 (7pm – 8:15pm Eastern)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat
  • Recordings available until July 30, 2024

From the Faculty:

“It’s definitely for beginners and just an intro to kidlit and the different things, tools that a lot of different contemporary illustrators use as well as past favorites. And then I will show–on the second day we’ll go into Procreate, which is my, what I illustrated my last two books with and I’ll give you some tips for the, you know, Procreate and how to get started since it’s kind of overwhelming. And then my art director Aram Kim, who is wonderful and lovely, will be joining us on the second day too to give us tips. So that’s always great.”—Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Why This Workshop?

Knowing yourself, your subject, and your passions will help you decide which media (or combination of media) is best for your illustration projects.

In this two-night mini, beginning illustrators will learn how to play with all media types from pencil to paint to pixels, and find which one allows their current project to shine.

Join Courtney Pippin-Mathur to look at contemporary examples of media and styles in picture books. Then you’ll take an in-depth look at Courtney’s style, which combines traditional watercolor (and occasionally gouache and acrylic) with Procreate and Photoshop.

You’ll also hear from art director, author, and illustrator Aram Kim on the second evening, who will share ten tips about submitting work to an art director (tradition and/or digital).

In addition, Aram and Courtney will open the session to questions from students.

During this two-night mini workshop, you’ll learn:

  • What types of digital tools are available.

  • Who uses what tools. (Current Illustrators and how they create.)

  • Where you can purchase and learn more about digital tools.

  • Why digital tools are so popular.

  • How to use Procreate. Courtney will share live tips for illustrating with Procreate!

Please note: The demo will be presented on Courtney’s Apple products.

Feedback Expected

  • None is included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are starting out as a picture book illustrator or author/illustrator, and are looking for beginning information about techniques and styles.
  • You are considering illustrating a picture book for children, and want to learn about contemporary picture book artists and their techniques.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop; they are short sessions meant to engage and spark illustration ideas.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.


If you are unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through June 30, 2024.

Please note that if you register for the course after the start of the first session, you will not receive recordings immediately. You’ll receive both recordings after the close of the last session, usually within 24 hours.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time. Click on the headings below to explore the agenda in more detail.

Part One: Tuesday, May 28 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • Illustrating a Picture Book: An Overview with Courtney-Pippin Mathur
    • View contemporary examples
    • Understanding the process— from idea (or assignment) to finished product
  • A guide for beginners to techniques with Courtney-Pippin Mathur
    • Traditional
    • Digital
  • Reflection: Consider your strengths and the project with Courtney-Pippin Mathur
Part Two: Thursday, May 30 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
  • Virtual Demo: From Pencil and Paint to Pixel with Courtney-Pippin Mathur
    • Begin with a draft, and take it through the Procreate process
    • Bring your iPad and follow along in Procreate. You can also learn how to incorporate traditional line drawings and paintings in Procreate!
  • Ten Tips for Submitting to an Art Director (tradition and/or digital) with Aram Kim
  • Q&A with Aram and Courtney

Please note: The demo will be presented on Courtney’s Apple products.

How It Impacts Kids

Illustrations bring stories to life.  By infusing your style into techniques that can bring your art to kids, you can impact their relationships with stories and their lives.

Testimonials from Our Community

“[Courtney was] super prepared. Tons of examples from her own and others’ work. Transparent about her process.”

“The teacher is wonderful. Learned the difference between using traditional media and digital pros and cons of both. Wonderful.”

“Drawing on a tablet doesn’t need to be as daunting as it seems. I was really concerned before about the learning curve with a new program.”

Meet the Faculty

Special Guests


May 28 @ 7:00 pm - May 30 @ 7:00 pm




When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.