a glimpse: My Children's Book Dummy Process

Picture Book process

While you will probably find basic similarities, the quirks of an artist's process are always great fun to see. (Below shows how I created picture book art for Edward Lear's poem, the "Owl and the Pussycat", for fun during a course.)

STEP ONE:

The very first step of any illustration project brief is to figure out what you are illustrating. In this case, a text, which was then broken into images or spreads.

Katie Erickson

Step two:

My next step is to create lots and lots of lists. I list anything that I will need to draw or figure out, from environment to character and on and on. I also need to start thinking about mood here. This really directs how the rest of the drawings go!

STEP THREE:

Using the lists I created, I next work on finding the characters. And then, I work on emotions and posing, too!

Katie Erickson Art Character Poses
Katie Erickson Character Emotions

Step four:

I work on refining my thumbnails and page spread ideas to incorporate my character designs. And then refine and refine. I am also trying to pop in little items here and there from my lists.

STEP FIVE:

I am putting cover design here, but honestly, I need to be thinking about this in Step Two as well. I find that the cover really helps me get in the right mindset for progress of the work. In the end, doing the cover work earlier can save me valuable time.

STEP SIX:

I follow up the cover and spread design with an actual spread colored sample.

Art by Katie Erickson

STEP seven:

Take a step back. Send off to peers/clients for review.

STEP eight:

Work on comments. And now... move on to another project. Rinse and repeat, as some say!