I have just completed work on my first Black and White (inside) chapter book. The cover is done also, in living color, but I can't post that here.
For purposes of this post, however, I wanted to share the process I followed to get from the early sketching stage to the final finishes.
After reading the manuscript several times, (actually lots of times) I began with some character sketches. These are usually large because I like the freedom of just "letting go" and getting a good free feeling to the character.
Once I had pages and pages of these done I created a story board for the entire INSIDE portion of the book. As I finished each rough I printed a tiny copy of it and pasted it into my story board.
All those pencil notes on the story board are the comments from the editor/designer as we worked on composition and character and paid attention to the details in the manuscript that needed to be illustrated.
Each time I FINISHED a drawing I made a print out and posted those larger full size Black & Whites on the Bulletin Board that faces me as I work. I find that this helps to create a consistency of character and mood as I work. Style is important too. It helps me to see the particular type of line or hatching I am using as I go from one finished B&W to the next.
This last photo is the bulletin board with all 18 drawings displayed. I know the story almost by heart now, and it is a beautiful one. When the book is out I will post more information and some close ups as well as the cover, ISBN and places where you can find the finished product.
Although I am a children's book illustrator, this book seems to me to appeal to an older audience, one that moves easily into the adult range with its charm and meaningful message. I'll be sharing more about "WHEN WISHES COME TRUE" by Barbara B Slater, in the coming months.
INTERESTING ITEM: During the work on this book we had a huge ICE STORM here in NH and we were without power for 9 days. Fortunately when the editor called, I had all my storyboard finished and we were able to discuss the entire book over the phone. This is another good reason for digital artists to have a traditionally available copy, or at least a print out of work completed.