Graphic images for the web
- Image files and sizes: File extensions & resizing images in photoshop.
- Saving images for the web: How to optimise graphics for the web.
- Seamless tiled backgrounds: Making a tile seamless, to look like one image.
- Left border backgrounds: Creating a background with a left hand border.
- Pen & Ink Sketch: Turning a photograph into a Pen & Ink Sketch.
Illustrating Children's Books for print
How to Illustrate Your Own Picture Book
Illustrating a picture book is a dream for many - and with top illustrators such as Quentin Blake earning a small fortune from their illustrations, not only in regards to the book royalties, but also the subsequent print sales, picture book illustration can be a lucrative business.
Of course, illustrating a picture book shouldn`t be about the potential fortune associated with the children`s book market - perhaps you have an idea just for your own children, or as a gift for a younger family member. Either way, there are many ways to go about illustrating your own picture book.
First, you have your story, which can be as simple as you wish - although it is highly recommended that it is brief, not only to spare children`s short attention spans but also in regards to how many illustrations you need to do! Next, decide how the words will sit on each page. Be imaginative! Some pages can have as much as a paragraph and a small illustration, while others could boast a two page spread of colourful imagery and only a sentence! Make sure it is easy-to-read, and never over-crowd your pages. The best picture books bold, imaginative and simple - think of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", which was voted one of the most well-loved books in the UK in a recent poll.
Choosing your illustrative style can be tricky - if you are already an illustrator, then you probably already have your own distinctive style you wish to use. Otherwise, the best advice is not to over-do it. Quentin Blakes illustrations are known to be rough, inky and bold - and he doesn`t even colour in the lines! Yet his illustrations have entranced millions of children worldwide through the Roald Dahl books - and continue to do so even now. You don`t have to attend life-drawing classes to illustrate your own picture book - all you need is a little imagination, flair and enthusiasm.
It does help, however, to know what you are drawing. If you are illustrating a picture book about a mouse that lives in a chimney, for example, you may want to practice drawing mice and chimneys from photographs, or even look at how other illustrators have drawn mice to be more appealing to children, first. Another overlooked issue is backgrounds - never skimp on the extra little details, as children do notice and appreciate them more than you think! Finally, choose your media and stick with it, practising until you are confident. For example, if you want to use watercolours, draw rough studies separately, and paint til you get it just right - there is nothing worse than ruining a final illustration with sloppy colour.
If you want to know more, try visiting the brain training website for many more hints and tips on illustrating your own picture book - and succeeding in the highly-competitive world of illustration.