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, and special guest Aram Kim for ten tips about submitting work to an art director (tradition and/or digital).

June 6 @ 7:00 pm - June 8 @ 8:30 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, and special guest Aram Kim for ten tips about submitting work to an art director (tradition 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, June 6, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Thursday, June 8, 2023 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat
  • Recordings available until July 31, 2023

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 these webinars, 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 see:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of various forms of media
  • Contemporary stand-outs that use traditional and/or digital styles
  • Problem-solving strategies to use as you add Procreate and/or Photoshop to your artist toolkit
  • Considerations for personal style and “branding”
  • Advice for moving between multiple media

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 July 31, 2023.

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.

Part One: Tuesday, June 6 (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, June 8 (7pm-8:15pm EST)
  • 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.

Want to Continue Learning With Us After This Course?

Our Summer Camp in Illustration or Writing and Illustrating Science & Nature for Kids and Teens would be a great complement to what you learn in From Pencil or Paint to Pixel, and they’d also help you build your creative community.

Register now for From Pencil or Paint to Pixel, and get a code in your email confirmation with a $50 credit for Summer Camp in Illustration or Writing and Illustrating Science & Nature for Kids and Teens.  We’d love to see you on our campus!

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


June 6 @ 7:00 pm - June 8 @ 8:30 pm




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

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

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

Can't Attend Some Sessions Live?

That's generally okay!  We know that you are juggling other demands with your workshop.

Recordings are made available to all registrants for most live sessions, usually the day after the session.  Check your course description for specific details about session recordings, and when they are released.

We also try to suggest in the description how using the recordings may impact your experience if you can't attend live.  But ultimately, it's up to you!  Let us know if you need help.

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

Workshops for Writers & Illustrators

> Online
> In-Person
> On-Demand (Self-Paced Online)

New to the Highlights Foundation? Try these:

About Children's Publishing | The Whole Novel Workshop | Summer Camp


Need help deciding on a workshop?  Ask an ambassador!

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Our campus (The Barn at Boyds Mills) is tucked away in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It's a few hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, but worlds away from everyday life.

Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

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