10 Best Children’s Book Illustration Courses Online

Are you considering illustrating your own children’s book and wondering where to start? Maybe you are a complete beginner, or you have some illustration experience, and believe you can do the job yourself!   

The internet is an excellent source of information for illustrators. There are a variety of learning platforms available, but how do you decide which one to use? This article will showcase the ten best children’s book illustration courses online as found through my research. 

Aside from ratings, this article was guided by several factors when settling for a preferred children’s book illustration course. Now let’s take a closer look at what factors to consider when choosing an online illustration course.

Different Platforms For Illustration Courses

With the popularity of digital art, there has been an increase in the number of platforms offering illustration courses. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular options:

Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning platform with a wide range of courses, including several Skillshare children’s book illustration courses. The courses are taught by professionals working in the field, and they cover a variety of topics such as digital painting, character design, and hand-lettering. Skillshare also has a strong community element, with students sharing their work and providing feedback to each other.

Udemy

Udemy is another online learning platform with a wide range of courses available. The courses on offer vary in quality, but there are some excellent ones taught by experienced instructors. Prices also tend to be very reasonable, making Udemy a great option for budget-conscious students.

Domestika

Domestika is the world’s largest community-made specifically for creatives. With over 10 million members, it’s a great place to connect with other designers and learn new skills. The site offers a wide range of online courses taught by top professionals in the field of design and illustration, including book illustration.

Courses cover everything from basic design principles to advanced techniques, and you can even find a children’s book illustration course online free. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, Domestika has something to offer everyone.

Additionally, many of the courses hosted on Domestika are offered in multiple languages, making it perfect for everybody!

Lynda.com

Lynda.com is now LinkedIn Learning, and it offers a huge selection of video-based courses on various topics, including illustration. The courses are taught by industry experts and cover everything from the basics of digital painting to more advanced techniques. Although most of the courses are paid, LinkedIn Learning often has special offers and discounts available.

Google Creative Academy

Google Creative Academy is a resource offered by Google that aims to help individuals and organizations master the latest tools and techniques for creating innovative content.

Whether you are interested in video editing, graphic design, or web development, Google Creative Academy offers free tutorials and you may find a book illustration course free, covering a wide range of topics and skills. The courses are designed to be accessible to everyone regardless of skill level, and they cover everything from introductory concepts to advanced techniques.

Selecting a Children’s Book Illustration Course Online

If you want to learn how to illustrate children’s books, there are many great online learning platforms available. However, before deciding on a preferred course, consider the following factors. 

  • The price and subscription options 
  • Duration of the course
  • Your skill level 
  • Resources and materials required for the course
  • Online reviews 

Let’s dive in to see which of the listed children’s book illustration classes is perfect for you!

Illustrating and Writing a Children’s Book

by Valentina Toro, Illustrator, and Author

An experienced instructor and author, Valentina Toro, will guide you through the process of turning your ideas into a compelling storyline. You’ll be able to bring your characters to life by using different materials and techniques.

The materials required include the following:

  • Drawing paper
  • Graphite and colored pencils
  • Computer with Photoshop installed

What Will You Learn in This Online Course?

From the course, you’ll learn the following. 

  • Children’s storytelling using illustrated books 
  • Generating ideas for a story and writing a script
  • Using materials and techniques to invent characters and shape the book
  • Illustrating your final mockup and making it digital
  • Completing the mockup

What Constitutes the Course?

  • Price: $9.99
  • Duration: 2 hours 13 minutes
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • 98% positive reviews
  • The lessons are in Spanish but with translations available in English, German, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, and Polish.
  • Try This Course

 Introduction to Children’s Illustration

by Adolfo Serra, Illustrator

Discover and learn from the hands of Adolfo Sierra in his illustration class in Domestika. He’s passionate about drawing, painting, and illustrations which drove him into children’s book illustrations. 

In the course, you will showcase your portfolio using a wide range of styles and techniques. The materials needed here include:

  • Ink
  • Paintbrush
  • Wax
  • Crayons
  • Oil paint
  • Rubber
  • Roller
  • Different paper typer 
  • Scissors
  • Glue and Acetate

What Will You Learn In This Online Course?

The course is hands-on, and you will use different techniques that anyone interested in drawing can learn.

  • An introduction to illustrations, lessons, and perspectives 
  • Use your storyline in text, then convert it into pictures.
  • Try and test different techniques to see which one fits your story.
  • Combining your experiments to create compelling Illustrations
  • Creating your work using the lessons learned

What Makes Up The Course?

  • Price: $14.99
  • Duration: 2 hours 39 minutes (13 sessions)
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • 99% positive reviews
  • The lessons are in Spanish, with English, German, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, and Polish translations.

The Complete Drawing & Painting Illustration Course

by Jaysen Batchelor & Quinton Batchelor

The course focuses on traditional art tools like graphite, watercolor, and colored pencils.

More than 20 art practice tests are included in this illustration course that become more challenging as the lessons progress.

You will not only acquire and gain illustration skills, but you will also be able to select which art tools best suit your style. ‍

Long after the lectures are over, you can use high-quality downloaded resources to guide your learning.

What Do You Need For The Course?

  • Graphite and colored pencil
  • Watercolor paint
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Paintbrushes
  • Watercolor paints

What Will You Learn?

  • Essentials of illustrations
  • Effective ways to use watercolor paints, graphite, and colored pencil
  • Blending foundations and highlighting shadows
  • Utilizing available materials to create illustrations
  • Working on your project from the lessons learned

What Constitutes the Course?

  • Price: $84.99
  • Duration: 12 hours ( 11 lessons)
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Rating 4.7 
  • Available in English
  • 100% money-back guarantee in case it doesn’t meet your expectation.

Illustrating Children’s Books

by Lilla Rogers & Zoë Tucker

You’ll find various resources on the platform – Make Art That Sells. For children’s books illustration, the course offered by Lilla Rogers and Zoë Tucker is your best bet.

Lilla is a publishing agent, and she collaborates with Zoë to give you practical lessons applicable to your book illustration journey.

Get to know the market, what publishers want, and how to pitch and create a portfolio.

What Will You Learn in the Course?

  • Create your own character giving them emotions and a personality
  • Connecting the reader to your story
  • Techniques to navigate when drawing your character poses
  • Compelling images that attract the reader’s attention
  • Creating covers that attract

What Is in the Course Package?

  • Price: $510
  • Duration: Five weeks 
  • Skill level: IntermediateTwenty0 videos, weekly assignments, live video reviews, and coaching.

What do you need for the course?

The online course accommodates both digital and traditional tools used in creating art. You can opt to use a computer installed with Photoshop or settle for pencils, paper, and paintbrushes. 

The creators encourage students to learn and utilize art resources. 

Children’s Book Pro (Comprehensive childrens book illustration)

by Will Terry, Lee White, and Jake Parker

If you are looking for a lesson that will provide step-by-step guidance from well-experienced illustrators, you’ll need to check out this course. The creators are three knowledgeable artists who’ve worked with various renowned published books. 

This children’s book pro course is taught by three decorated illustrators with more than 70 books under their belts. The team still works on various children’s illustration projects while still training at the society of visual storytelling.

What Will You Learn in the Course?

  • Basic illustration 
  • Understanding everything about drawing
  • Creating images befitting your storyline
  • Create appealing  characters who are unique 

What Is in the Course Package?

  • Price: $16.50 per month (annual subscription) OR $ 24.99 per month (monthly rate)                                                                                 
  • Duration: Ten weeks (20 hours of content)
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Weekly actionable assignments
  • Templates to build a portfolio
  • Step by step checklist
  • Online mentorship
  • 100% money back within two weeks, and a final refund option of 50% refund within three weeks 

What Do You Need for the Online Course?

The course is not limited to digital or traditional mediums. You can opt to use a computer installed with Photoshop or settle for pencils, paper, and paintbrushes. 

Illustrating Characters and the Stories They Tell

by Mary Jane Begin

Learn from Jane how to use your sketched characters to create a compelling story. She’s an award-winning illustrator and a professor at Rhode Island Design School. The course provides you with a manuscript to guide you to develop characters that engage the audience.

You’ll discover how to elicit a tale by understanding the primary human response to a specific character type.

What Will You Learn in the Course?

  • Basic illustration and storytelling
  • Sketching your characters
  • Developing characters and giving them personality
  • Creating stories to appeal to human psychology. 

What Is Included in the Course Package?

  • Price: $24                                                                                 
  • Duration: 28 lessons
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • 99% positive reviews
  • Try This Course

Drawing Academy – Creative Drawing Illustration and Sketching

by Andres Brachetta

Learn from Andres, who has more thansix6 years of experience teaching drawing at the University of Architecture. His teachings have their qualities, but they all center on a distinct manner of perceiving and teaching drawing.

You will approach drawing in a much broader way during the course. Drawing is powerful regardless of what you wish to convey. As a result, you’ll concentrate on the fundamentals to master any form of a picture, whether it’s drawing faces, vehicles, landscapes, or a new product that you’re working on.

What Will You Learn in the Course?

  • Basic drawing and sketching
  • Techniques for shading and controlling the line weight
  • Steps to develop your drawing professionally
  • Ways to use simple lines and shapes to create characters.

What Comes in the Course Package?

  • Price: $11.99                                                                                
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Rating of 4.2

Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Dina Rodriguez

Dina Rodriguez’s lesson should pique your interest if you enjoy drawing. She’ll show you how to turn your passion into a profitable business.

Dina discusses how to grow your skills through passion projects and social media, how to attract clients through your online presence, how to make money for your business, how to create a system that constantly gets you the client, and how to charge what you’re worth in this session.

She’ll go over specific tactics and new ways to repurpose your work and future planning. After this lesson, you’ll know how to build a successful career without going through all of the painful trial-and-error.

What Will You Learn in the Course?

  • Packaging yourself as a business creative
  • Creating and presenting your work in a portfolio
  • Harnessing your online business to showcase your art
  • Pitching and attracting clients
  • Steps to develop your drawing professionally

What Comes in the Course Package?

  • Price: $49                                                                                
  • Duration: 29 lessons
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • 100% positive review

Children’s Book Illustration: Discover Your Style

by Anne Catharine Blake 

Are you interested in drawing and illustration but don’t know your style and techniques to enhance your skills? Anne’s course should help you get new ideas and have that light bulb moment even for an experienced illustrator. The design of the course makes it simple to follow. 

Anne’s an experienced author and illustrator with over 30 years. She’s a graduate of Emily Carr University in Book Illustration and Design with an MA in Illustration from Syracuse University and an MFA in Illustration from Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. 

What Will You Learn in the Course?

  • Understanding your drawing style through shapes and lines 
  • Learning how to draw distinct patterns and textures in your style 
  • Working with various color and theme preferences in your illustrations
  • Learn about the multiple children’s illustration book categories and which one fits your style

What Is Included in the Course Package?

  • Price:(Skillshare subscription)$29.88                                                                              
  • Duration: 8 lessons
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Over 2,000 learners

How to Illustrate a Children’s Picture Book Part I: Character Design

By Clair Lordon

This is the first section of the three-part series course offered by Clair. She’s an author and illustrator of several children’s books, and she graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in digital illustration.

There are many practical examples in the course. It’s well organized and with the essential simplicity for a beginner.

What Will You Learn in the Course?

In this three-part session, In this three-part session, Claire will teach you how to develop characters, a storyline, and a 32-page picture draft book. This program is ideal for anybody interested in illustrating, drawing, or writing children’s books. 

Students should have some knowledge in drawing, design, picture book understanding, and composition skills.

The Course Package Includes

  • Price:(Skillshare subscription)$29.88                                                                              
  • Duration: 10 lessons
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Over 60% positive rating

Conclusion

You probably are talented or have some skills in illustration and drawing. But learning new ideas and techniques is essential in growing your passion.

In this article, I’ve highlighted ten online illustration courses to serve as a stepping stone on your path to mastery. You can opt to pick two or three courses that you believe resonate with your current needs.

The course mentors and the community of other learners should motivate you if you feel stuck and need a little push or encouragement.

Illustration Course FAQs

What degree do you need to become a children’s book illustrator?

There are many different routes you can take to become a children’s book illustrator. While there is no specific degree you need, taking a children’s book illustration short course can be extremely beneficial.

This type of course will teach you the ins and outs of illustrating for children’s books, from creating characters to telling a story through your images. Not only will you learn valuable technical skills, but you’ll also get insight into the publishing industry and what it takes to get your work published.

How do I learn to illustrate children’s books?

If you’re looking for an in-person class, try searching “children’s book illustration course near me.” There are quite a few classes available both locally and online.
If you want to learn online specifically, try one of the courses from our list above, as we have done all the heavy-lifting for you and selected the best!

How much do illustrators make for a children’s book?

Fees for children’s book illustrations can vary quite a bit, so it’s hard to give a definitive answer without knowing more about the specific project. In general, though, illustrators typically charge either by the job or by the page, and sometimes they may also charge per additional character.

Job-based fees tend to be higher because they take into account the overall scope of the project and the time involved in completing it. Page-based fees are usually lower, but they can add up quickly if the book has a lot of illustrations. Characters rates are somewhere in between, since each one takes varying amounts of time and effort to create.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 per page to $800-$1200 for an entire children’s book.

How much should I charge to illustrating a children’s book?

When it comes to illustrating children’s books, there are many factors to consider when determining your pricing. One important consideration is the scope of the project, as larger projects will likely require more time and effort than smaller projects.

Additionally, you may want to take into account the amount of experience you have in illustration, as this can also affect the amount of time and resources that are required for the project. Ultimately, whether you decide to charge by the hour or by project will depend on what your time is worth.

However, regardless of your approach, it is important to be clear and upfront about your pricing so that expectations are set appropriately on both sides. After all, if your work is valued and respected, then you deserve compensation that reflects that value as well.

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