The illustration process for children’s books

It seems pretty straightforward right? Draft a story and get an illustrator to come up with some imagery to coincide with the storyline and you’re off to the presses. Not quite! Here’s a quick overview of the illustration process Where Albatross Soar has gone through.


A fascinating process, here are just a few steps:

Step 4 – Color Explorations: Colors set the mood for the story and are an important part of establishing the visual direction. As consumers, we have an unconscious emotional response to certain colors – again a science in and of itself. Sherwin paints some of the sketches to explore different color combinations and we discuss the intended change in mood & flow from page to page. Color explorations below:

Step 5 – Initial Renderings are Composed: Now is when we focus on the key elements from the story to create the basis for what will ultimately become the finished illustrations. These are developed in stages. Sketched first, then painted and more details added along with lighting. They are developed in layers so that we can move, shift, re-size, re-purpose and alter aspects of each page without starting from scratch. Still a lot of feedback and “negotiation,” but we’re now generally speaking the same language:


Read about the entire processWhere Albatross Soar: The Illustration Process

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