Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 12, 2020

Illustrator Critique of Sharon Holm by Dr. Mira Reisberg

Hullo again, it’s Mira Reisberg with my final video critique for this series. As I’ve mentioned, I love teaching and these video critiques allow me to also teach some Photoshop skills. This one is for Sharon Holm whose cute alligators could make a wonderful book. In the video I talk about curving the arms and playing more with positive and negative space, squinting to see if you’ve created pleasing abstract shapes, and making the images more relational (which in many ways is at the core of kid’s books – exploring different kinds of relationships).

I spoke a little about creating clothing and color schemes connected to place, where in this case I imagined the characters to be Miami alligators with that Miami Vice color scheme. I also spoke a little about creating a ground or horizon line so that the characters didn’t just float in space. But I didn’t speak about fleshing out the environment with these images to contextualize them more by actually having some objects subtly indicate the interior rooms that the characters are in, or the exterior landscape either, which I think would elevate these images if done with a light hand so the characters still took center stage.

Below are a before and after image and then just an “after” image where I flipped the image to face right and guide the viewer onward to turn the page, and played with the color contrast more and then below that is the video. As always, know that as many people as see your work, that’s how many opinions you’ll get and to take what you like and leave the rest

Sorry your cute bunnies got lost but I might even put faces on them to make them even cuter.

I really hope you enjoyed this series and that I get to play with you again in the future. I’d especially love to help you further if you can swing it to take our live and recorded  illustration course. This one is going to be especially awesome because of my co-teacher, the new bonuses, the line up of editors, agents and art directors joining us, and our assistants. The Magic starts this Monday! Wahoo!

Sending much creative love, Mira

Please leave a comment here and on facebook about what Mira is doing or join Mira’s Facebook group using this link: or join her email community. She is currently giving away a fabulous brand new free course:

ALSO HEADS UP: there’s still a small discount with the 2020ArtLove code along with wonderful FREE Photoshop and Procreate courses among other goodies for the Children’s Book Academy’s game-changing illustration course. First live training starts Jan 13th. Come find out why people rave about this course here:


Dr. Mira Reisberg has a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children’s literature. She is an acquiring Editor and Art Director at Clearfork/Spork and is also the Director of the Children’s Book Academy. Her students have published over 370 books and won ever major North American award. Mira’s 8 published children’s books have won awards and sold over 600,000 copies. She lives in a 100 year-old house in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two cats.


Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. I know even the writers have enjoyed watching your videos and discovering more about the process. You are a treasure for everyone in the children’s book community. Hope you have a wonderful class. 

Remember: Mira’s class does not start until Monday, so you still can jump in, learn and hone your skillls.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you!


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