Denise Fleming's Caldecott Honor Book

Guest Group Critiques


Part 1 – 61 minutes

With Nick Balian 

Nick Balian serves as art manager and staff illustrator for the digital children's publisher ustyme books. He's a graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a degree in animation (that included a focus on storyboarding and visual development.)

He has illustrated 11 books for ustyme, including Aesop's Fables and The Three Little Pigs and directed many artists in the illustration and design of other ustyme titles.

In our nearly three hour workshop, he talked about ustyme's digital books platform, his own process illustrating the new ustyme title Hansel and Gretel and how to submit samples to him to be considered for an assignment. He also looked at and commented on 34 pieces of your uploaded illustration art.

Part 2 – 47 minutes

Part 3 – 47 minutes

Show Notes

Here's the link to the Photoshop brushes site that Nick recommended in the session, the Kyle T. Webster digital brushes site.

Nick says, "These are awesome quality digital brushes and are so reasonably priced. All his brush packs vary in price but are all under $20 and some are under $10."

For online education on Photoshop, I highly recommend illustrator Leda Chung's course, Photoshop for Kid's Book Creatives

Watch the presentation she did for us on Photoshop in this double-feature workshop with Mira Reisberg of the Children's Book Academy.

Will's Terry's video courses on painting in Photoshop are also great resources for children's book illustrators.


Interested in learning more about that that other industry standard digital art software, Adobe Illustrator? You'll enjoy this panel presentation with children's book illustrators Jannie Ho, Russ Cox, Bob Ostrom and Wendy Martin. 

Check out Wendy's video course, Vector Your Kids Book Art! (a Marks & Splashes course) that shows how Wendy uses only a few of tools of Adobe Illustrator to create her marvelously rich children's book illustrations and licensing art.

And below you'll find the recording of children's author and illustrator Laurie Edward's presentation about creating her striking 2-color art for the ustyme digital picture book, The Teeny Tiny Woman. Nick art directed the project.

You can watch the video on the Google+ Event Page here, with the links to purchase her and other ustyme titles selected for Reading is Fundamental's Billion eBook Gift Give-Away.

children's publishing art director Loraine Joyner

Loraine Joyner

Join us for February?

Try a Hans Christian Andersen scene for this month's Guest Group Critique?

We're set for February 25 with retired longtime children's publishing art director Loraine Joyner! Get your details here.

You'll enjoy the introductory video we shot with her.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts.

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