Monday, August 20, 2012

JUMP!- Process: Children's book stages

In honor of my recent visit to Mystic Aquarium and an eye opening visit with Juno the Beluga Whale, I thought I'd do a quick post about the process of making a kidsbook, focusing on some aquatic critters from my book 'JUMP!'.

First is the sketch doodle stage, which is all about exploring visuals for the different characters, trying to find what is right for the book. Wee little kids, for whom Jump was made, get a bit timid when a shark shows up on a page. It took a while but I eventually figured out if you give a scary critter one tooth, they get that it is a shark, but aren't scared of it. Here are some prelim drawings from my sketchbook:

The next stage, after I've nailed the basics of the critter, is to lay out the spread fot the books trim size. I focus on composition, mood, and try to be mindful of leaving room for text. This stage is usually a mash-up of sketchbook drawings scanned into the computer and them manipulated and drawn on top of in Photoshop. They are pretty crude, but will be cleaned up when they are brought back out of the computer into the real world again.

After I do the comps, I send them to the Art Director (In this case the Awesome Laurent Linn) and he does a rough layout with text. Once we are sure everything is where it needs to be, I print out the layouts and do a light box transfer of them in light pencil on watercolor paper.

I then inked them with a brush and Higgins Black Magic (Waterproof) and do the final water color flats. Or maybe I reversed that sometimes, watercolor first then the final ink.

Finally, the paintings are scanned, the text is added, and then it is off to the Printer. Then about a year later your book comes out! (What you see here are the files the final book was printed from. (They removed the crop lines naturally!)

1 comment:

  1. Super great process post. Thanks for sharing. I learn so much by seeing how others work.