2011-04-09

The making of, Part 2: Concept art

My last post discussed the original story and how I wrote it a long time ago and hand-bound it into a book.

If there's something a good children's story needs, it's proper illustrations. I decided to recruit LeBinh to do the illustrations because I had seen some of her other artwork in the past and it was quite good.

LeBinh started out by using my original drawings as guidelines, so that she could see which scenes needed illustrations. She developed a better representation of the little grey mouse and then drew some sketches. Her sketches were vastly better than mine.

Early on we discussed the layout of the book and settled on a 6"x9" trade-paperback format. Lulu.com's minimum page count for a paperback book with perfect binding is 32 pages, so I started arranging the text and pictures to fill out those pages.

After a few revisions it became clear that we would need more artwork in order to make sure that each page had a proper balance of story and art, and all the words lined up well with the illustrations. To shake things up a bit, I also decided to re-write the ending, which meant we had to get rid of one or two illustrations and add about 10 more. By this time we were better organized, and so we worked together to decide what illustrations would be needed, on which pages, and what sizes they should be.

LeBinh's sketches were fairly close to the final illustrations. The sketches were black and white, but had the same size and layout as the final illustrations. This meant that after scanning the final illustrations and then switching from the sketch to the final image, it seemed as if the colour had simply been turned on, rather than it being a completely new illustration.

Once all the illustrations were done, it was time to move on to the cover.

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