Presentations & Workshops

Students at at Jeannie Brett School Visit

Students at at Jeannie Brett School Visit


The Process of Illustrating a Picture Book from Start to Finish
Grades: K-6
Duration: 50 minutes
Featured Title: Mix of my titles

This presentation can be customized for younger students as well as for older students. For younger grades (K-2) my PROCESS is expressed in simple fashion with lots of hand held original artwork (paintings, sketches, book dummies, etc.) and class participation. It includes a discussion about imagination. I demonstrate this by creating an “Imagination Sketch” using the student’s ideas.

With older students, I discuss the details of working with an editor, contracts, etc., and draw parallels to the writing process. There is also class participation. With all grades I end with a Q&A session.

This is my basic presentation that I have been sharing with students and educators for many years and has been received with great enthusiasm! I am always changing it here and there to keep it fresh.


Drawing Workshop
Grades: K-6
Duration: 50 minutes-1 Hour
Featured Title: Mix of my titles
Note: There is a small charge for art supplies.

This workshop requires one class at a time and tables and chairs for each student. I do a very short (about 15 min.) “Process of Illustrating a Picture Book” presentation, while the students sit on the floor around me. We then move to the tables and get to work on creating our very own Alphabet Page! I draw an animal with the students following along step by step. I break the animal down into shapes. Once the students have drawn their “basic” animal shape we discuss how to make it “their own”. Will it be a “fantasy, make-believe” animal? …..or a realistic rendering? If so, what is the habitat, the weather, and other details. We discuss back ground, decorative borders, texture, shading….or, how about dressing up your animal! …. kid’s of all ages love this workshop! We then paste on the letter the animal name begins with. Lots of fun!

*Teachers may want to use the finished illustration as a writing prompt for a poem, Haiku, story, or research paper!
*This workshop can also work this way: One inclusive presentation, 50 min. “Process of Illustrating a Picture Book”. Then three, 50 minute workshops (one class at a time) with the participants from the 1st all-inclusive group. This allows more information about creating picture books (from the all-inclusive presentation).


My Cat, Coon Cat
 Pre-K and K
Duration: 30 minutes
Featured Title: My Cat, Coon Cat
Note: There is a small charge for art supplies.

This is a fun presentation and activity for the younger set!

I start by introducing my books and discussing what an author and illustrator is, fiction and non-fiction, and the parts of a picture book. I do an interactive reading of My Cat, Coon Cat with the help of my coon cat puppet, Lupine. We then go to tables and chairs and decorate Coon Cat masks with crayons, feathers and glitter. If we have extra time and attention span I may do an interactive reading of Little Maine.

For kindergarten classes (50 min.) I can add an imagination sketch to this presentation.

This is a fun, simple presentation and activity, perfect for Pre-K and Kindergarteners!


Artist in Residence Workshop: Creating a State Alphabet Illustration

Grades: Grade 3 and up
Duration: 2 Day
Featured Title: My Alphabet books.
Note: There is a small charge for art supplies.

This Artist in Residency starts with an over view presentation for the entire grade (this works best for a grade of 3 classrooms, otherwise we add on days to the residency): I will meet with all of the students and share with them the Process of Illustrating a Picture Book, using my state alphabet and number books as a springboard. We will talk about research and reference material, inspiration and imagination, and lots more! This will give the “big picture” of what we will be doing for the 2 days that I will be with them. This is also a great time for Q&A. I then meet with each of the 3 classes, each day. So each class would have a total of 2 workshops with me.

Before I arrive: Teachers will facilitate the students to pick letters for their Alphabet Page, keeping in mind state flora and fauna, historical places, agriculture, recreation, etc. The students will have researched their topic for images, before my visit, at the school library, web, etc… gathering visuals they can use as reference material. I
 also bring along visual reference materials to share. This is also a great project to use for a writing prompt, for a research project, poem, haiku, essay, or fictional story. This can be done before or after my visit.

This residency also works well as a state wildlife alphabet.

Day #1
We will compose several thumbnail sketches while thinking about layout and composition. We will then move on to a large, more detailed sketch of the thumbnail sketch that has been chosen from their selection. The visual references that I supply along with the ones they have gathered will be at their access to use while sketching. It is important to have plenty of time so the students can be thoughtful and not be rushed. I will be available to comment and help students on a one to one basis while everyone is working.

Day #2
We will transfer the large sketch onto a large piece of Tru-Ray colored paper, making last minute changes. With Cray-Pas oil pastels the students will add color and then place their letter onto their illustrations. For older students we may use colored pencils instead of Cray-Pas, for a more detailed illustration.

Illustration Celebration!
Students will feel proud of their hard work! How about a gathering of students and parents after school or evening (depending on where I’m traveling from)? The students and I will share with families their process of illustrating an alphabet page. We could have a Q&A time for the parents to ask the students about their experience.
 It’s always fun with a snack of cookies and juice and a book sale and signing!

Teachers can follow up by using my presentation/workshop with science curriculum (natural science, weather, flora and fauna), literacy/language arts, and art. Just ask if you would like more suggestions for content ideas.

Do you have suggestions for a workshop? Let me know, maybe I can design a workshop just for you and your students!


Coming soon! A presentation based on my new title, Wild About Bears!