Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Process for (another) book illustration!

Here's the process for another of my book illustrations.
So back in the fall I worked out the thumbnail sketch for this piece. You can see it here, and here you can see the small scale color concept piece.

To submit my dummy I need a few final images of my illustrations to show the publisher what I am capable of and to give them an idea of what to expect as far as quality. So I took my small scale color concept for this illustration and made it into a full sized illustration.

I made a couple compositional changes for this one.

-I added more hands in different positions because I received feedback that former hand appeared to be taking away the jar rather than putting it down. I also wanted to show multiple people bringing jars for the boy to use, rather than just the one.

-I added the cat, as I want to him to appear at least once on every page spread. (As a child I always enjoyed having something to search for on every page).

-I also added more white space in the upper right hand corner as that is where the text will float.

Now for the process, I started with the graphite drawing with ink washes over top:

Then I started adding color with watercolor under paintings to select areas:

Then for the pastel color and value:

Starting to block out white areas with gesso:

And for the final I added some pastel shadows/reflections over top of it all (finally those jars are grounded):

One final illustration closer to being ready to submit my manuscript/dummy to publishers. Thanks for looking!


  1. Just looked through all your posts. Really lovely work. Are you Belgian? Your name sounds Belgian.

  2. Thank you! I am actually American, but of Belgian heritage!