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 – 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 – Experimenting with materials

Some of the work that I produced whilst experimenting with gouache and other materials.

For part of my research and development for this project I decided to experiment with gouache paint as I thought it may improve my images because the colours would be brighter with gouache than watercolour.

I started by testing the paint by doing some blended backgrounds on brown paper. I also used a conte pencil to add trees in one of the images.

old man
Old man in woods. 

I then drew out one of my pages to see what it would look like in colour. I used gouache paint and then went over the old man character with a conte pencil. I think this image worked well, I was concerned when I did the page plan that this page would look too busy but I think that it works well to convey the fact that the character is deep in the woods. I think this image could be improved by making the space between the trees darker in order to add depth to the image.


forest background.jpeg
Gouache and Conte pencil 

After testing this page with gouache I decided to test the page that would go opposite it. The idea for this page is that it would have a simple image for a background with a square of bordered text on top of it. My first idea was to have a colourful background with a row of trees at the bottom of the page. I liked this design but it didn’t fit with the other page. I decided that the page with the text on it should look the same as the page opposite. I decided to make the background dark with the colourful trees covering it.

gouache trees.jpeg
Gouache trees 

I started by doing this with gouache. I used less water with the black paint in order to make it darker. This didn’t work the background still isn’t that dark and it looks flat. The trees don’t stand out against the background either. I then decided to use acrylic paint for the background as this would allow me to create a much darker and consistent colour.

I think that this second attempt using acrylic looks a lot better, the trees really stand out and the background looks a lot more dense. I think that using acrylic with the gouache works the best so in order to improve the image of the old man in the woods I will redo it using acrylic for the background instead.

acrylic trees
Acrylic and Gouache 





Children’s Book Brief – Characters

Ideas and developmental work for my characters for an illustrated story based on the tale The Singing Bone.

Once I had experimented with the materials I had chosen to use I decided to improve my characters. I liked my original character designs but I felt that they looked too flat and not very expressive. In order to improve them I decided to make clay models of my characters because in the book, I want them to look like models sculpted by hand.

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I used air dry clay to make the little brother, the big brother, the king, the princess and the boar. I only used simple tools to form these characters.

Once my models had dried I was able to use them to draw from. Drawing from these models allowed me to improve my character designs as I was able to make my sketches look more three dimensional, this process also helped me to include more character in my designs, making them look more alive.

I used a conte pencil on brown paper for these images. I chose brown paper because it gave the images more warmth than white paper would and it helped to make them look more primal like the images and sculptures that inspired them.

I then added colour to the sketches of the characters using gouache paint. I tried to give each character their own colour so that they were easily distinguishable from each other. I chose simple colours for the brothers as they come from a poor farming family and I wanted to reflect this in their design. For the king and Princess I chose rich colours to reflect their royalty but I still wanted them to look like they were made from materials from the earth to keep with the theme of primal sculptures and figures. For the Princess I tested a few different colours, I tired an orange colour but this turned out too similar to the brothers, I also tried a blue colour but this made her look to cold in comparison to the other characters. I think that the contrast from the conte pencil and the paint helps to make the figures look more lively and expressive because of the rough, smudgy lines.

Children’s Book Brief – Trees

Some ideas on how the trees and forest will look for the illustrations for the story The Singing Bone.

The forest is quite a big bit of the story, The Signing Bones, that I have chosen to illustrate for this brief, so I decided to draw out different versions of trees in order to decide what design to use.

I started by drawing out some simple designs, some of which were inspired by trees from some of the books that I looked at at the beginning of this project.

I then chose one of the designs I liked and incorporated it into an image that could be used to illustrate the story. I used watercolours to paint the sky and the ground but added the trees using a fine liner pen .


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.