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Make Your Picture Books More Vibrant with Watercolors!


How to Draw Your Illustration
Illustrators, even those who paint, need a solid foundation in drawing. In this mini-class, you'll learn how to use a non-photo blue pencil to make a rough sketch and work out your composition. Then you'll use an HB pencil to refine your sketch. This class will help you make a tighter drawing and figure out the details that make your illustration unique.

Once you're happy with your drawing, you're going to trace it onto tracing paper, tightening it even more. You're going to take every chance you have to make your drawing the best it can be before you ink it.

Transferring and Inking Your Drawing
You should have a “final” drawing on your tracing paper by the end of the first lesson. Jessixa will teach you three different methods for transferring your drawing onto watercolor paper. Then she'll show you how she chooses which parts to ink before she watercolors.

Watercolor Your Illustration
Last, you'll learn how to watercolor your illustration, adding vibrancy and detail with every stroke. Jessixa will teach you her favorite techniques for achieving texture. She'll also teach you how to remove mistakes.

You'll come away from this class with a better understanding of how painting can enhance your illustration. You'll know which tools you need and how to use them. Jessixa provides one of her own illustrations for practice and a handout with instructions to help guide you through each lesson.


Lesson 1:  Tools and Sketching

  • Learn how to turn a rough sketch into a finished drawing.

Lesson 2: Transferring and Inking

  • Jessixa demonstrates three techniques for transferring your sketch onto watercolor paper. Then she teaches you how to ink your illustration.

Lesson 3: Watercolor Your Illustration

  • Learn Jessixa's techniques for creating beautiful watercolor illustrations. She'll even teach you how to remove mistakes.


JESSIXA BAGLEYJessixa Bagley is an award-winning children’s book author/illustrator. She is a fine artist, comics creator, and illustrator with a BFA in painting and printmaking. Jessixa also professionally speaks and teaches about picture book writing and illustrating to all ages. Her love of drawing anthropomorphic woodland critters-inspired by growing up in the Pacific Northwest. Her debut picture book Boats for Papa won the 2016 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for best picture book text as well as Washington State Book Award for Children’s Books.

Her picture book Laundry Day received a 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Award for writing. Many of her author/illustrated picture books are Junior Library Guild Selections including her most recent picture books Henry and Bea and Daisy. Jessixa often illustrates for other artists and also collaborates with her artist husband, Aaron Bagley. She is represented by Alexandra Penfold at Upstart Crow Literary. Jessixa lives in Seattle with her husband and son.