Enrollment for Let's Make Picture Books is currently closed.

Hey there!

Want some help making fulfilling and memorable art for your children's book portfolio?

Let's Make Picture Books can help!

Some children’s book portfolio courses end up helping you craft art that looks pretty much like the art everyone else in the course is making.

And while there’s value in anything that helps you feel more confident in your children’s book illustration skills, we know that you’re better served by coming up with unique portfolio pieces that showcase your joys and interests. 

Let’s Make Picture Books helps illustrators craft memorable children’s book portfolio pieces that will have art directors and editors saying ‘hey, I’d love it if you would illustrate this children’s book!’ 

"It says a lot about Denise and Steph that they have drawn such a kind and talented group of people. Everybody is just incredibly helpful with their feedback and genuinely excited to see each other succeed. As for the content, I love how flexible the workbooks are! The assignments can push you in the right direction if you're only getting started, or they can give you a totally new perspective if you're a bit further ahead in your illustration path. "

Ana Toro

If your goal is to become a children's book illustrator, here's how this workshop can help:

A 12-week portfolio development workshop designed to help you create memorable portfolio art for the children's book market.

Say hello to

Let's Make
Picture Books

You'll make friends with fellow illustrators in a private community space (not on FB!).


You'll get instructor feedback on your workbook illustrations through the 12 weeks of this workshop. 


You'll get three 40+ page workbooks designed to help you illustrate memorable children's book characters. 


the Let's Make Picture Books Story

When I started working towards illustrating children’s books almost 10 years ago, I just wanted someone to tell me exactly what to put in my portfolio to start attracting art directors! And yeah, I got the usual list of must-haves like character sheets, emotion, and action, but even when I created a portfolio that checked all the boxes and started to see a trickle of children’s book work come in, I just wasn’t getting to illustrate the kinds of books I truly wanted to illustrate.

It wasn’t until I got brave enough to fill my portfolio with what I loved drawing (birds and animals, of course!) that I started booking projects that filled my heart with joy and my bank account with larger fees.

I learned firsthand the power of making a children’s book portfolio that stood out from the crowd and that’s part of what’s driven me to launch the Let’s Make Picture Books portfolio development workshop with guest teacher and fellow children’s book illustrator, Denise Holmes.

Between the two of us, we've illustrated over 70 children's books in a variety of categories including picture books, board books, nonfiction, and even activity books.

We've taken everything we've learned over the years and created this approachable and totally doable 12-week workshop to help you create gorgeous, standout portfolio pieces that will have art directors saying, 'hey, I want that amazing artist to illustrate this book!'

This isn't another course you're just going to enroll in & forget about. you deserve better than that. 

This is a portfolio workshop with guided workbooks, zoom coaching, guest artists, and instructor feedback.

 It's about making amazing portfolio art and meeting like-minded illustrators.

What Makes LMPB Different?


  • You'll get 3 workbooks to guide you through creating three character-driven portfolio pieces. A new workbook will be released every four weeks during this 12-week workshop. 
  • The workbook topics are character, movement, and emotion
  • Each 40+ page workbook includes discussions and tips on the topic, inspiration, reference photos, and assignments to help you finish your illustration.

guest artist presentations

This session of LMPB includes 4 guest artist presentations: 

  • Holly Surplice will talk about observational drawing for children’s book illustrators. (September 30 at 10am EST)
  • Grace Habib will share how she creates characters, both human and animal, for children’s books. (October 7 at 10am EST)
  • Renee Kurilla will share how she captures movement in her illustrations and how she works to maintain the spontaneity of her sketches in her final art. (November 10 at 11am EST)
  • Stephanie Graegin will share how she captures even the quietest emotional moments in her illustrations. (December 2 at 11am EST)

Creativity coaching + q&A sessions

  • Group coaching sessions will take place on October 14, November 4, and December 9. All sessions will take place at 11am EST.
  • Each group coaching session includes gentle creativity coaching with guided writing prompts, and a Q&A session. You can submit questions in advance if you can’t attend live.
  • Recordings will be available for those who can’t attend live.

What's Included

feedback on your work!

  • Get feedback on your workbook illustrations from Steph and guest teacher, Denise Holmes.
  • Feedback will be given with the private community in a specific space reserved for workbook submissions.

a private community

  • It’s a space accessible only to LMPB students, so you can ask questions and get feedback on your work. 
  • You'll build art friendships here that you'll carry right into your children's book career. (We know because we've seen it happen!)

"The website is organized and easy to navigate - unlike a Facebook group.  I like how they challenge us to go outside our comfort zone. Real talk about the industry and what we need to do if we want to succeed. One take-away for me is learning to keep drawing past the first thing I like - to draw it again and again and again. There are so many favorite things!! "

Julie Lopez

The Workbook archive

  • Access to 14 themed workbooks if you need more guidance in creating portfolio pieces.

the bonus archive

  • Access to a collection of bonus workbooks on drawing topics + videos on Steph’s Photoshop process and Denise’s Procreate process.
  • Access to Steph's Skillshare classes (without having to bother with a Skillshare account!)

the webinar archive

  • Access to a collection of webinars about a variety of children’s book illustration topics from coming up with portfolio ideas to choosing colors to illustrating book covers. 


the illustrator chat series

  • Access to a collection of short videos where Steph and Denise chat about their book illustration processes. 

Payment Options

Say hello to your fellow artists (and Steph & Denise!) in the cozy community space. Spend some time getting to know the space so you’ll feel comfortable with how everything works when the workshop begins on September 26. 


Download Workbook 1 so you can start working on your first illustration too. Don’t worry, the workbooks are designed to guide you through the process with prompts and assignment suggestions. 


Check your email after you enroll. Within a few minutes you’ll get an email confirmation with an access link. You can jump in and access the webinar and lesson archives right away. 


What Happens When You Enroll?

Mark your calendar and get ready to attend the Zoom coaching sessions and guest artist presentations. Check the Events topic within the LMPB workshop space so you can RSVP for event reminders. 

live sessions

hey there!

I'm Steph
Fizer Coleman

What began with a few cute bird drawings blossomed into a thriving illustration business working on children's books, greeting cards, puzzles, and other products. 

I believe in building a portfolio around the art you want to make, not around the work you think you're supposed to make. 

In LMPB, I'll guide you through creating portfolio pieces that share what you're passionate about. 

Get to know me

hey there!

I'm denise holmes

Becoming a children’s picture book illustrator did not happen overnight. After many years of working hard on my portfolio and being persistent, I finally got my break. An editor saw my work on Pinterest and sent an email asking if ‘I’d like to illustrate a children’s book’. Yep, I would!

Since that one life changing email, I have had the opportunity to work on 24 children’s books. Ranging from activity, educational, baby board book to children’s picture books.

I’m excited to share more about my process and insights during this workshop. Alongside Steph, I am here to help you create portfolio pieces that will get you noticed by a publisher or art director too!

Get to know me



No. 1

LMPB is a live portfolio workshop that runs from September 26 to December 16. New workbooks will be released on September 26, October 24, and November 21. All Zoom events will be recorded and shared as replays. Because this workshop offers feedback on your illustrations, you’ll get the most out of this program if you can participate during the above dates. 

No. 2

Enrollment opens September 15, 2022 and closes September 22, 2022. There is not a 2023 session planned at this time.

No. 3

You have lifetime access to the workbooks, recordings, and bonus archives. If there are future sessions of LMPB, there will be new workbooks, new guest artists, and new Zoom sessions, so you’ll need to enroll again if you want to participate in another live session. (Yep, there will be a discount available to previous LMPB folks)

No. 4

This workshop is $397 when paid in full or three payments of $133.  

No. 5

Yep, you sure do! Drop a line to cs@learnwithsfc.com and we’ll get you set up with a discount code. 

No. 6

Well, I can’t tell the future (but it would be cool if I could!) so I’m not sure how many folks will sign up but I can tell you from my years of experience in teaching courses that feature Zoom events, those events normally have about 30-50 participants. That means that generally every question gets answered during those sessions. And Denise and I will be working hard to make sure that everyone who wants feedback on their workbook illustrations gets feedback. 

No. 7

This workshop is broken up into three 4-week blocks. Each block contains at least two Zoom events, so you’ll need at least 2 hours to participate in those or watch the replays.

You’ll also have 4 weeks to complete each workbook and submit your illustration from feedback. You know how fast or slow you work (and there’s no right or wrong pace!), so keep that in mind when considering how much time you will need to complete an illustration within 4 weeks.

No. 8

There aren’t currently any plans to offer this specific version of Let’s Make Picture Books again. I know that’s a kind of annoying answer, but I’m an artist too and strictly planning out courses and workshops has never really worked for me. I need some space to follow the creative flow. 

No. 9

Nope. This workshop focuses on helping you create memorable portfolio pieces. If you need help with the business aspects of being a children’s book illustrator, you might be interested in Children’s Book Career Jumpstart. 

No. 10

Whatever your favorite supplies are! We will be encouraging lots of observational drawing in this workshop, so at least be prepared with your favorite sketching supplies. Other than that, you need whatever you normally use to create illustrations. 

No. 11

For anyone who wants to be a children’s book illustrator and needs help with portfolio development. 

No. 12

I think that LMPB is the bee’s knees and I hope you think so too, but if you don’t there is a limited refund period. You can request a full refund within 14 days of the first day of class, so that means refunds can be requested up to October 10th, 2022. Beyond that date, refunds are not possible.

Don't see your question answered in the FAQ section? 

No worries! Drop a line and I'll personally answer any questions you might have. (Yep, Learn with Steph Fizer Coleman is just me and part time assistant, so I'll really personally answer your questions!)

Get in Touch

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