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5 Steps to illustrate a Children’s book



5 Steps to illustrate a Children’s book

Have you ever wonder how you will start to illustrate a children’s book? An illustration is a very broad field that asks for time and dedication. Being good at drawing does not mean give you the ticket past illustration; you require other skills too that include references, storyline, thumbnails, and many more steps. Here are 5 steps you could follow to create a children’s book illustration;

Five steps to start your Children’s Book Illustration

Step 1: Looking for references

It is best to look at references because you never know when you might be stuck with an inspiration. Using your environment as your illustrations reference might be one of the best ideas since that’ll allow your artwork to be as realistic as possible. And the more realistic it is, the more interesting the illustration is going to be. And not just that, using real-life references often enables your skills to grow more; since you have examples present around you in physical form. You can always go out to the park nearby for a stroll and sit amongst nature to gain inspiration for your illustration.

You will also find it easier to brainstorm for ideas around your real-life references since it’ll allow you to picture your illustration in its final form more easily. You can always add different elements to it without having to put too much effort into it.

Step 2: Mixing analog and alphanumeric

You can use different software for your digital artwork either that or you could simply opt for the traditional method and practice your illustration on other mediums. Although there is much software that is present in today’s world that makes it easier for artists to access different mediums under one space. You do not even require to re-do illustrations with those gadgets, you can simply undo the mistake and carry on with your work without wasting your time and energy.

In the end, it’s the illustrator’s choice; whether they prefer to go for hand-drawn illustrations or go for the digital ones. Illustrations style have their separate pros and cons.


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Step 3: Mapping the story

It is essential that you map your story, illustrations are nothing without a story. It is the narrative that drives home the potential of visual imagery. Since you will be illustrating for a children’s book, it is best to have a story to create your drawing for. Otherwise random images aren’t going to be helpful when it comes to grasping the kid’s attention and piquing their interests.

Step 4: Creating thumbnails

As per famous well renounced illustrators who have been known for the work they have done, they always sought after doodles and thumbnail ideas; they would sketch over and over again to get the right piece of illustration that they’ve been looking for. Some compositions just come to you while others are sought after, it’s not always the same. However, you should always be prepared for that.

Once you have gathered yourself a collection of thumbnails, you will have the backbone of your illustration with you. In case there are any flaws and errors present within the story; you will be able to make edits easily without disrupting anything and it’ll save your time for the final piece.

Step 5: Creating roughs

Once you are done with creating thumbnails, you should start working on your roughs. You can either do that traditionally or digitally, that depends on you. However, you should add colors at this point and add in the important details within this stage. To make it appear as close to the final stage as possible. But make sure to use the right color palette, especially since it’s a children’s book. You wouldn’t want your color scheme to look off in a happy story.

It is best to add colors that are bright and captivating, to gain as much attention from the kid. And not just that, with the help of colors; the child should be able to distinguish between characters and objects present within the illustration. As that’ll help them understand the story better, in a connection to the image. Add shadows and gradients along with adding a hint of realism.


By following these steps you will be able to create an exceptional illustration that is able to speak on its own and communicate the story in a better manner.



Read more Entertainment related stories in The Weekly Trends magazine.

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