Working with teachers
Children’s book illustrations provide an astonishingly diverse means of developing visual literacy skills across a broad spectrum of the curriculum and with all grade levels.  Visual language is an important part of a child’s understanding and appreciation of literature and all must have some ability to analyze, interpret, understand and appreciate visual messages. 
Session will familiarize teachers with basic design principles and how they work and don’t work in examples of picture book art. Session will examine extensive examples from several illustrators and varied artistic styles from initial sketch and overall book design to final illustration and how the “work” is interpreted visually by the reader, regardless of quality and detail. 
Session will increase understanding of how the eye “reads” a picture, how a picture book should come together visu?ally as a whole, and how to use those connections with students struggling with written language.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the direction that art takes in forming word 'pictures' essential to a child's comprehension of the word and development of one’s imagination and learning.”
“...the basic notion of visual literacy and how the illustrator's goal is to visually steer the reader through the pages. A concept that is known at the most basic level but rarely verbalized and broken down as clearly as Karen Ritz did.”
“...fascinating and so informative. I can’t wait to visit the art museum on campus and use what I learned from her.”
Writers' Conferences
Have I created two scenes that are identical when interpreted visually?  Does my pacing and story arc hold up in the 32 page format? How much can I “tell” in side notes?  What language do I use to respond to an editor about the art?  Has my illustrator used polished narrative form to help tell the story? 

Visual and narrative form should be held to the same storytelling standards in a picture book.  We will examine basic design principles of line, shape and color and how they influence the outcome of your printed work.  

Learn how illustrations are interpreted visually in the brain of the reader and produce a text that can inspire a better balance between text and illustration.

“You opened my eyes to many possibilities I didn’t know existed in my story...very enlightening for a writer to have an artist’s view.”
< Elementary and Middle School Presentations
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