Children’s Books

July 26, 2012 § 6 Comments

I recently completed a class Illustrating Books for Children, taught by Joy Chu, a colleague and friend of many years.  It was a sort of  refresher course for me.  I had illustrated books in the past for various publishers.  I had done book jackets for young adult, fiction and biographies and interior illustrations for educational books, but I had never  done a picture book and I wanted to.  In the past I didn’t give much thought about the fact that there was a  process involved in writing and illustrating a good picture book.  I thought you just drew 32 pretty illustrations and threw in some words!  That all changed with the class and now I’m hooked.  Here are some of the things we worked on in class as well as some illustrations I’m working on for my portfolio.

8-page dummy

When a writer or writer/illustrator has an idea for a children’s book, they first create a dummy.  Some can get pretty elaborate, but this is an example of a simple 8-page dummy to help us warm up for the real thing of 32 pages.

16-page dummy

Ramping it up ….

You get the idea…these were both wordless stories.  An exercise in telling a story without using words as crutches.  Finally we tackled the 32-page dummy.  I won’t show it here like I did the shorter dummies but here are the thumbnails.  If you click on the image you can see it larger and read the words.

I did some refinement later at the dummy stage and changed some of the scenes around.  The words were based on a story from an out-of-print book  ,“Jamie’s Story” by  Wendy Watson and we were to create our own images based on that story.  Here you see a couple of roughs I did from the dummy and, so far, one finished piece.

After some rough color sketches in PhotoShop and then working on the figures a little more here is the finished piece.


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