Children’s Book Brief – Initial Ideas

My initial ideas, sketches and paintings for an illustrated book based on the tale The Singing Bones.


After doing some research I started doing some sketches and paintings of my ideas for a children’s book based on the story The Singing Bone by The Brothers Grimm. I started by drawing some ideas I had for the forest.

I then started to do some sketches for the characters, taking inspiration from Shaun Tan’s book The Signing Bones and primal cave art.

This research inspired me to create simple characters that looked primal and solid. I tried to simplify the human form as much as possible but still make the look recognisable and relatable. I added colour with watercolours. I wanted to make the characters look like they had been carved out of wood and stone in order to make them look more primal and prehistoric.

I then did some quick paintings to test the characters in the environments I wanted to include in the book. These paintings were inspired by the book The White hare by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Anastasia Izlesou. I tried to imitate the blended watercolour backgrounds which allowed me to try something different.

After doing these images I decided to try and redesign the older brother as I don’t think he looked very human and he didn’t really resemble the younger brother. To redesign him I looked at Inuit carvings and primal sculptures of the human form. I then quickly sketched out some simple designs based on the images that I looked at.

After drawing out these simple forms multiple times I came up with two ideas, I then drew these next to the design of the younger brother so that I could compare them.

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