Open Brief – Final Outcome

The final outcome of the open brief project.


After making some designs for the final pages I made a dummy book. I then finished off the final pages. I used watercolours to paint the main features of the pages, I then digitally added the backgrounds. I created the font from my own handwriting, I think this works as it isn’t too messy but it looks more personal than a normal font.

The first page is made up of documents and letters that my Grandfather brought back with him from his time as a prisoner of war. I also included a photograph of him and another of him and some other soldiers.

I am fairly happy with how the pages turned out however there is still many changes that I would make to them. I think that I need to experiment more with how the text is placed on the images as it takes up quite a lot of space and detracts from the images a bit. I also need to improve the quality of some of the pages, I could do this by re-scanning some of the artwork ignorer to make it less blurry. I also need to improve the way that I cut out my images and apply them to flat colour backgrounds. One suggestion from my tutor was to use gouache, the same colour as the background, and apply it around the parts of the image that I wish to cut out, creating a smoother transition between the digital aspects and the watercolour parts. I will try this technique to improve my images. I also went to experiment more with the content of some of the pages, for example the third page, with the image of the boat sinking, I think that an image where the main character can clearly be seen climbing across a rope to the ship would be more effective and visually interesting. I would also like to include more textures from real items in the pages like the wooden box on the fifth page and the blindfold on the eleventh. I could paint on bits of the documents and letters and I have some Japanese fans that I could also incorporate.

I also made a cover for my book using images from the existing pages. book cover

Penguin Project – Research

Some research on eye catching book jackets that I have done for my latest project Penguin Book Project in which I have to create a book cover for the story Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

Image result for penguin book covers
One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Illustrated by Ioana Negulescu 2012

I think that this image works well as a book cover as its quite striking and bold. I also like how the image relates to the story but it doesn’t give too much away. I like the use of colour, I think that they work well together to make the image lively but not too busy. I also like the different textures in the image, I think that the texture of the bark of the tree contrasts well with the texture on the pills.

To Kill A Mockingbird Illustrated by Madelyn Farley 2017

I think that this image works well as a book cover as it is very dynamic and striking. The contrast between the bright yellow background and black hand makes the book very eye-catching and intriguing. I also like the handwritten font, I think that it works really well with the image, I think that it allows the image to communicate in a more personal way.

The Big Sleep Illustrated by Hayley Warnham 2013


I think that this image works well as a cover as it is also quite dynamic. I also like the use of collage as I think that it contrasts nicely with the block colours behind it. I also like the use of negative space within the image. I think that the type font also works to well because of the sharp edges between the colours and the collage. I think that if a handwritten font was used it would just look messy and unprofessional in contrast to the other aspects of the image.

Grimms Fairy Tales Illustrated by Tim Parker 2012

I really like this book cover and I think that it really stands out as a design. I like all the different textures in the image, the wolf’s fur, the tree trunk spine and the red tongue. I also like the contrast between the blacks and greys with the red tongue and yellow eyes, it makes these features stand out in the image. I also think that the mixture of handwritten font and typed font works really well, I also like that some of the words are bigger than others to emphasise them.

Children’s Book Brief – Improved Final Pages

The further development of my final page spreads for the Children’s Book Brief

In order to improve my work I decided to develop my final pages further. I needed to neaten up the hand written text in order for my pages to look more professional. I did this by writing the text again using a thinner, sharper conte pencil.

I also re-did one of my pages entirely, I kept the same composition and idea for the page but I made the background lighter in order to bring the focus to the foreground of the image. I also changed the colour of the brother and the boar to more purple based browns so that they fit ore with the other colours used in the image. I also developed my technique further by using more of the conte pencil to highlight certain parts of the page other than just the characters. I think that this helped to pull the whole page together and it added a little bit more detail to the image.

Children’s Book Brief – Final Colour Pages

The development of my two final colour page spreads and the cover for my illustrated book based on the story The Singing Bone.

After I had finished my dummy book I started my finished, full colour page spreads. Part of the brief was to do 2 finished colour page spreads as well as the finished cover in colour. I started by choosing 2 pages that I thought would contrast with each other and that would look interesting in colour. I then used a number of materials to add colour including watercolour, gouache, acrylic paint and a conte pencil.

I then used photoshop and indesign to add text to the cover and to the pages. I also added page and bleed lines to the images. The text is hand written, I decided to do this as I felt it would fit with the simple, rustic theme more. This also allowed me to simply emphasise words which add to the drama of the story. I also made a change to one of the pages in photoshop, I decided to move the character up the page as he was too close to the edge, I think this has made him easier to see.

To improve these pages I would change some things. I need to re-doo the text to make it more even and regular as at the moment it looks too rough. I would also experiment more with line and develop the paint and charcoal/conte pencil technique. I would use different thicknesses of line in my images and use line for other parts of the pictures and not just the characters as i think this would help me to bring my composition together as a whole. I would also make the background lighter in the image with the boar in order to emphasise what is going on in the foreground.

Children’s Book Brief – Dummy Book

The mock book that I made containing pencil sketches based on the story The Singing Bone.

As part of the brief we had to produce a dummy book which included rough sketches for all of the pages of our book, the title page, the endpapers and the cover. I started by drawing out all my roughs first, I then stitched them together to keep them in place. I then made the endpapers and covers and attached them to the pages of the book. Most of the pages in my dummy book are the same as the rough sketches in my flat page plan. One of the things that I have changed is the position of the text on some of the pages so that I could fit it in without interfering with the images. I also changed the format of the text on the text only pages, they now have individual backgrounds to fit with each opposite page. Another change is that not all of the text pages feature the text in a white box, this feature only appears on some pages where the backgrounds are dark or the text overlaps different features of the background.

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Children’s Book Brief – Colour Page Plan

A colour page plan for my illustrated book The Singing Bone based on The Grimm Brother’s story for the children’s book brief.

In order to demonstrate how my book would look in full colour I made a rougher, more vague version of my page plan. I used watercolours to roughly show what colours would be present on each page and where. I did this as it helps people to get a better feel for how the whole book would look, it also emphasises what is happening on each page and it helps the viewer to connect with the story more.

Children’s Book Brief – Book Layout

The page plan for my illustrated children’s book based on the story The Singing Bone by the Grimm Brothers. this is for the children’s book brief.

After deciding how the characters would look I moved on to the flat plan layout of my book. I started by deciding on the format of my book. i have chosen to make a square book as it will allow me to do double page landscapes and I think that a square book will be more appealing to children. The text that I will be using for my book is the original text from the Grimm Brothers that has been translated. Once I had decided on what version I was using I read through the text breaking it up into different pages. I then drew out my ideas for each page. I decided to vary the layout with some pages being double page spreads and some pages just being text and some just an image. I thought that this layout would make the book more visually interesting and it also allowed me to incorporate the whole text as the story is quite long.

IMAG0099IMAG0101I was quite happy with how well the layout flowed so I will not be re-dooing this page plan but I will be doing a colour version of this to show how the book would look in colour as a whole as colour is quite important for a children’s book. I am not too happy with some of the pages but I would like to test them in colour first to see what they’d look like. I like the continuation of trees throughout my book, for example their inclusion on the endpapers, I think that it helps to bring the whole book together and that it also helps to make it flow visually. To improve it I think that the characters need to be brought to life more, on some of the pages in the book they look too wooden and not alive.