Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

ENCORE! North for Illustrators 2019

Date(s) - Saturday, September 28, 2019
8:00 am - 3:30 pm

Courtyard Marriott
2200 Southwood Dr - Nashua, NH 03063

Speaker change! See below!


2019 ENCORE! North for Illustrators

September 28, 2019
8:30 – 3:30

The Event Center at Courtyard Marriott Nashua

2200 Southwood Dr., Nashua, NH

ENCORE for Illustrators is where all the best illustration workshops from the past two conferences will be reprised. Our full day includes continental breakfast, lunch, five presentations on illustration and critiques! Yes, I said critiques!


8:00 — 8:30
Breakfast and Meet and Greet
Enjoy a continental breakfast between 8:00 – 8:30.

8:30 — 9:30

Illustration Portfolio Workshop with Mary Jane Begin
A portfolio is the delivery system that an illustrator uses to get their work seen, with the ultimate goal of becoming published. Mary Jane will review the elements that comprise the portfolio and how to maximize its potential to connect to editors and publishers. Items such as websites, business cards, mailers, press kits, as well as the physical portfolio and it’s organization will be reviewed both in a slide presentation and with hands-on materials. Resources for creating materials will be provided, as well as a guide to preparing a submission package.

Mary Jane Begin is a Professor in the Illustration Department at Rhode Island School of Design, where she has taught for 27 years. She is an Associate Professor in the Masters in Children’s Book Writing and Illustration Program at Hollis University and a Professor at Lesley University, College of Art and Design. She teaches online courses on color, composition, character development and media with and She is an award-winning illustrator/author of picture books with seven of her titles translated into Chinese, including My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea and The Dragons on Dazzle Island. In 2018, her title Willow Buds, The Tale of Toad and Badger, won the prestigious Bing Xin Children’s Literature Award in China.

9:45 — 10:45
Old School Digital Art
with Jennifer Morris
Ever hear that your digital paintings look too digital?  Can’t figure out why or what to do about it?  We will discuss tips and techniques that will help you soften the hard, mechanical look that digital art can sometimes fall prey to.  Help elevate your images above the medium in which they were created so your audience is focused on your what you are trying to say not what software you used.   We will talk about ways to incorporate traditional mediums, creating custom Photoshop brushes and limiting color, brush palettes to give your illustrations a more natural appearance. Although we will be focusing on Photoshop, many of these principles carry over into other software applications.

Jennifer E. Morris is an award-winning illustrator and children’s book author. She has illustrated dozens of picture books, children’s magazines, greeting cards, party ware and educational materials. She is the author and illustrator of numerous picture books including the best-selling Scholastic Reader, MAY I PLEASE HAVE A COOKIE? and the new easy reader series FLUBBY THE CAT.

11:00 —12:00
And Then What Happened?
with Sarah S. Brannen
In order for a publisher to hire an illustrator, they need to see good sample pieces of art appropriate for children’s books. Whether the art is in your portfolio or on your website, each piece needs to tell a story. Anyone looking at it should ask themselves: What just happened? What’s going to happen next? In this workshop, we’ll talk about how illustrators can up the narrative content in their work, both by showing examples and by brainstorming about ways to improve our own work.

Sarah S. Brannen is the award-winning illustrator of over twenty books for children. She wrote and illustrated Bear Needs HelpMadame MartineMadame Martine Breaks the Rules, and Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. Sarah illustrated Seashells: More Than a Home and Feathers: Not Just for Flying, both written by Melissa Stewart. Sarah lives in Massachusetts.

12:00 — 1:00

1:00 — 2:00
The Illusion of Life: Animation Principles for Picture Book Illustration
with Sarah Reul
Like an animated short film, picture books tell a story through a series of still images, unfolding across the pages rather than flashing on a screen. Many animation concepts, such as exaggeration, anticipation, staging and appeal can be very useful to picture book illustrators. Through simple drawing exercises like two-page flipbooks and analysis of published books, Sarah will explore how you can use the principles of animation to bring your stories to life.

Sarah Lynne Reul is an illustrator, writer and award-winning animator who likes science, bright colors and figuring out how things work. Originally from Brooklyn, she now lives near Boston with her family. After a number of years in science museum education, she was lured back to school by the magic of making drawings come to life. Armed with an MFA degree in 2D animation, Sarah Lynne now strives to pack the energy of animation into each illustration. Her first three books debuted last year: The Breaking News (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, April 2018), Pet the Pets (Little Simon/August 2018) and Allie All Along (Sterling/August 2018).

2:15 — 3:15
How to Draw Rug Rats and Ankle Biters
with Jennifer Morris
Ever see an image where all the children look like short adults? Have you ever been told that your characters look too young or too old and didn’t know how to fix it? Figure drawing classes focus on drawing the human figure, the ADULT human figure.  But more often then not, children’s book illustrators are called upon to draw – what else? – children. We will discuss how the anatomy of children differs from that of adults.  And we’ll show how to utilize that knowledge when drawing more stylized, cartoon characters.  We will also cover tips for transforming existing characters to make them look younger or older.


Portfolio critiques will be provided by Melia Parsloe, Associate Designer for Page Street Publishing AND Mary Jane Begin, professor and professional illustrator. 20 minute sessions cost $50. Spaces are limited.