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.
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.
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 ArtAnd 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.