Putting together a Children’s Book

I thought I could just paint and or draw the pages for my books. No sir, I posted a link to a fantastic video by an author and he hit all the notes on what to do, look for and how to do a dummy. Also how to set up a quality dummy for the publishers to see. It was called the 18 things you need to know to illustrate a children’s book

You can find so many other references if you look on-line. One great process that I found was to quickly do a speed dummy. A quick scribble, sketch of all the pages in sequence.

Rough dummy for silly
pages roughed in

I love this process. While you still have those creative juices going, you can express your ideas right away. This gives me the whole picture. This process also helped me to rewrite the storyline and fit all the, in between, illustrations to complete the story.

Till, next time, have a great day!


Spontanious Creative thinking

When we were younger we drove a lot, traveled across Canada to meet the relatives. While all us girls were back seat, we use to play travel games… The technology that is part of young lives today was not part of our lives.scribles_bak We used traditional methods. we had a pen and paper, crossword and word puzzle books. there was a game we use to play that was quite creative.
One person would scribble on the sheet of paper and the other person had to create a picture or common object. This
taught us to use our thinking ability and really enhanced our    visual vision

So try it.  This is a quick exercise so don’t expect perfection. I                                                           certainly did not…                                                                                                                                                                                        scribles

What questions an Illustrator should ask?


Wow! this is an article I found and I loved it. It is from an Illustrator, Tracie Van Wagoner. In today’s world, we need to be shrewd and cautious. She hits all the points and concerns that I have read about over the years. Take a peek at her blog. I found it simple and informative. This helps us to create an open and honest agreement with our clients that helps both parties to enjoy the process. Thank you, Tracie, so much for your insight and experience for all us searching for answers.


…hand eye co-ordination

In the last post, I focused on 4 areas to train your hands to follow your eyes.

  1. Cutting detail shapes with scissors.
  2. Tracing pictures accurately.
  3. Making models…etc.
  4. Taking time to examine things closely. [ I will post later ]

So one of the exercises to try every day is to look around, whether at home or at a park  and pick a subject. Then focus your eyes on the exterior of the object and start a line drawing without looking at your page or lifting your pen or pencil off the page. Remember only draw the outer edges of the subject.

Now you will get this result at first. This is my hand. blind-drawing-hand_bakEven though it is sloppy did you notice that the crinkles, bumps, and wrinkles are being addressed!  But the edges of the drawing went off the paper, so what, what matters is the fact that the eye is guided by the hand, developing hand-eye coordination. Once you start doing this for awhile you will become comfortable going slower and with more precision… so whether you are drawing your pile of dirty laundry or your sister sitting on the floor watching t.v. you will have a great time seeing the results. This exercise will help you with quick sketches as well.  Remember to date and sign your work and 20 yrs later you will remember what you drew.

Happy drawing


Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby

This new family was a dream to work with. Using natural lighting and using props, we were able to catch the moment. Using Lightroom and Photoshop to edit the photo makes it so easy. It is so nice to make sure that mom looks her best. and notice the neutral colours which help to keep the eye focused on the family instead of the clothes.

It is so nice to make sure that mum looks her best. Also, notice the neutral colours which help to keep the eye focused on the family instead of the clothes.

Train your hand to draw as you see.

When a small child is born it has little motor control over its limbs and head.  Over a period of months, the child starts to gain momentum and control in the movements. It usually starts with their hands. First, they will look at the hand and move the fingers slowly. Once this process starts, it gets better and better with time. Each child had their opportunity to attempt many eye pokes and pull wads of hair.

small baby

So how does this help us to draw? Hand-eye co-ordination is conducive to drawing. If you see it, but your hand does do what you want it to do, the movement has no value.

WE Can learn hand-eye co-ordination.

When my daughter started scribbling at one year old I noticed it was unique. She did not scribble. she carefully and slowly created small circular shapes. Hand-eye co-ordination at such an early year was there. I went home to see what I had done when I was younger. My mother kept all our school projects but finally removed them 6 months before I arrived. So I monitored the next child and It was not the same. But when my daughters first born was nearly 1 I noticed the same style. Today both my daughter and the 7-year-old,  have great art skills.

There is a number of things that can help develop skill hand-eye co-ordination in small children.

  1. Cutting detail shapes with scissors.
  2. Tracing pictures accurately.
  3. Making models…etc.
  4. Taking time to examine things closely. [ I will post later ]

Anything that requires precision with your hands and eyes.

2. Drawing exercises that were encouraged every day for my daily journal at school were to draw the outline of an object without looking at your paper. It does not look pretty but it helps you to develop a better control of the pencil.


The other was to draw straight lines and circles by hand. This was a weekly assignment. Our Art teachers theory was if Aztecs could draw a straight line without a ruler why can’t we. Mind you, our first couple of months the lines were somewhat squiggly in most parts.  and our circles were interesting. but near the end of the year, you could produce this.


How to draw site! Take a peek at this…

I came across a site by Marina Fridman is a Canadian multi-media artist and drawing teacher. She has dedicated this website to help people to learn how to draw. Her step by step approach is elegant and simply put together.

She touches everything that I have been showing others over the last 30 yrs. I highly recommend checking out her website. It would take me years to compose these type of lessons. You will not regret it



6 Basic Elements of Drawing

What are the Basic Elements of Drawing?

6 points of drawingThis is a good question. Here is a small section of my notes taken in my college Art class. For many years I was already drawing what I thought I saw for years. But this series of points help me to see more into what I was drawing or painting. I keep this list in my mind when I review the painting or drawing.

 Line  [Line is the most familiar and versatile way to express a drawing] it describes surfaces, it separates one form from another

Form  [It defines shape] 

Value  [ A scale of shades from light to dark]

Space [ negative and positive ]

Contrast [ light and darks ] 

Colour [ the light particles that bounce back to your eye from the source ][Tones and value]

Shadow and reflection [ such as the reflection in an eye or the shadow to create depth]

Perspective [ viewpoint or vantage point]


Pick a point in the list above and look around the room. Pick out an object. Can you see all these points above in the object you are looking at?  Practice this exercise for a number of days and see how it changes your view of what you see.



    Line          a6-lady-line-jpeg                                         

   Form          apple

Negative and positive space         spacemancard




Colour      cropped-swan12-5x8-3333.jpg             


 Reflection   and Shadow      100_7220


The Meat and potatoe of Illustrating Childrens Book



I would like to introduce this Video by a gracious Children’s book Illustrator, Martin Wright.  He created this video in a simple, straight to the point, directions on how to set up and create your children’s book. Thanks to this video I now am able to set up my paintings and drawings for my book in the fashion that will achieve what I want.

18 things you need to know to illustrate a children’s book

Simply click on the link above in bold