Thursday, March 29, 2012


My next step in illustrating a children's book is drawing comps.  Since I have my handy storyboard template laid out in InDesign, I like to grab each double page spread and upscale until the pages are about 25% of the finish size.  That usually gives me about 2 spreads per page.  You may recall from my last post that I have already placed my text, so that will upscale as well.  I can tweak as necessary, based on my design decisions and the font type and size information I have obtained from the publisher.

Next I print out these pages and make more careful drawings based on the thumbnails I already did.  Now I worry more about detail and carry over the composition and value decisions I had already made.  These are what the client will see, so I have to solve a lot of things.  When I'm just sketching for myself, I may do a scribble for a hand or a face, but now I need to really show the way it will look in the finish.

This is also the point at which I need to get and use any reference photography I need.  I work a lot from my head, but there are things I'm not familiar enough with, or poses that are tricky enough that I have got to get some good reference.  The internet is a wonderful resource these days!  It used to be that an artist would fill a filing cabinet with pages torn from magazines just to have images on hand.  Now all we have to do is google what we want and have millions of images to choose from.  Just be sure you don't plagiarize.  Use the images as guidelines, never copy them outright.  And to play it completely safe, take your own pictures.  (My own kids and husband make great models!)  If you aren't using your own family, always get permission (especially from parents of young children) and use a model release.

Once all the images are rendered, I scan them in, clean them up and send them along to the editor for feedback.

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