Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This is a follow on from my last post. You can see my draft illustrations in the previous post now it’s time to reveal some of my final illustrations. I used Photoshop to colour the draft illustration up into its final result. In this post I will talk you through some techniques and processes I use.

Colour is important when creating a set of illustration. You want them to all fit together and look like they belong to the same story. So although you might play around with moods through colour you want the overall palette to be consistent. Colour can play a major part in your style and portrayal of a story. One technique I use to create a colour pallet for a book is to research online. Go through lots of illustration websites and art sites and grab images you like the colouring of. Then I choose one that I think will work with my book. I then use this image to pick my colours from using the eye dropper in Photoshop. That way I end up with the whole series following the same palette.

Texture is very popular in children's books as it gives an artistic aesthetic. Illustrators who create illustrations using mediums and materials children create with themselves are able to relate to children very well. I also think with the large amount of computer generated illustrations and graphics now days it is nice to add some traditional elements even if it is digitally. I collect textures off Google, this is a little dodgy but as long as you are manipulating them enough that they are no longer anything like the original image you are not doing anything illegal. I then use lots of filters and effects in Photoshop to get the aesthetic I am after.

Light Source
One of the keys to making your illustrations look professional and correct is having a consistent light source. I do this by drawing an arrow on its own layer and locking it. That way I always know where the light is coming from and I add my lighting and shadows to suit. Play with your light source to create atmosphere and you can manipulate it to suit the image however it still should work technically. If something is completely out of light there should be no highlights on it.

As children’s books are aimed at younger readers you have to make sure you are helping them read your illustrations properly. For example in my book I have a small fly buzzing around the room. This would be hard to spot a lot of the time so I have added white behind it and its trail so the reader can understand that the fly is buzzing around. Use light and colour to point you reader to the action in your illustrations.

Here are a few of my final illustrations.

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