Sunday, April 28, 2013

Creating a Children's Picture Book.

Every illustrator has their own unique way in making a picture book. Using my latest book "Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe" as an example, here is a short summary of my own art process.

1. Thumbnail sketches.
After reading the author's manuscript, I put together very rough thumbnail sketches of how I envision the book to look. The sketches all very loosely drawn for ideas, the kind that's not really meant to be shown to anyone.

2. Research.
Photo references are a very important part of my art process. For this book, I use my nephew, Tyler, as the story's main character. 

The pictures are not for me to draw exact depictions, but to get the "feel" of the character. I also collected dinosaur references for this book which was a lot of fun.

3. Sketches. 
At this stage, there is usually a bit of a back and forth between me and the art director. Ideas are exchanged and revisions are made before the final sketches are approved before I can finally paint them.

4. Final Art. 
Below is the book's opening spread with thumbnail and pencil sketch. I make sure to leave space for type. This way, kids can enjoy reading the book and look at the pictures easily.

5. Bonus: Cover Art
And here's another example with the Cover art. You can see two sketch versions on the upper left. The book designer and I also toyed with the idea of having a 1950's design for the word "Deluxe," but we later ditched the idea.

 I hope you enjoyed the tour!
"Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe" written by Tim Myers is now available online and in stores


Mikey Brooks said...

This is a fantastic post! I also an illustrator and I enjoy learning about how others create their art. Thanks for sharing! I also wanted to let you know that my girls and I just read this book and we really enjoyed it--especially the art! We will be posting that review on our blog, Daddy's Girls Book Reviews, on Thursday, July 18th. Thanks again for the fun post. I look forward to seeing many more. :)

Macphisto said...

Thanks, Mikey. I had more ideas for an art process post and I may actually go ahead and do them now. Glad to know your girls loved the book and looking forward to your review.