Wednesday, November 18, 2009


When I work on a book I use a storyboard to keep me on track. In the beginning stages it is mostly concept sketches that I paste into place to see how the rhythm of the piece is flowing. This is a look at the early stage of a book I am working on. Like other illustrators, I don't always go from page to page in order, but skip around depending upon difficulty, use of models, time to get good reference photos and changes in the general tone of what I am trying to achieve.

An occasional image may be in color here and there, but the bulk of all the color finishes is done after the sketches have been approved by the editor.
My storyboard is like a mini dummy. Once I have everything in place, I'll construct a working dummy and submit it to the editor for any changes or suggestions. In the meantime I have a few months... (*weeks) to complete the initial sketches.

For this story I needed to get lots of first hand photos of a nearby town. I photographed stores, parks, streets, vehicles and people for several scenes I need to create. I needed a number of young students as models for characters as well as adults for some crowds in the story. Children in my Sunday School Classes and adults in our church are great subjects because there is a whole community of folks to choose from. I think they will enjoy seeing themselves in a book. The hair color may change, or the face might be a bit different, but I'll be sure to let them see where they are in the book.


Nikki said...

Thanks for sharing, Ginger!
This is really a neat way to work.

I haven't yet had a project that I have had to do so much reference.

Keep us posted on progress!

Bron Smith said...

I'm glad to hear that you're working on a new book project, Ginger. We'll look forward to seeing the final product. I hope your deadline isn't too tight.

Ginger*:) said...

Deadlines are so named because of the first half of that word! I may be close to that by the end of May, but if my editor likes the sketches I will have a head start and be able to finish on time. I dearly love the book, the story and ALLLLL the many characters.

This is certainly going to stretch my talents and I know I will learn a lot as I complete this picture book.

Amy C. Moreno said...

The amount of work you've accomplished on this is amazing!

Paige Keiser said...

This is wonderful Ginger! Thanks so much for posting. I'm about to embark on my next book dummy/manuscript submission and it always seems so overwhelming in the beginning. This definitely has inspired me to push through.

Kathleen Rietz said...

I do the same thing, Ginger! And I also skip around. Right now I am doing the close-up illustrations of the boy and the dog in my latest book so that I am comfortable with the faces and postures of the characters before I do my more detailed, interactive illustrations. I feel that storyboarding helps me keep consistency throughout the book.

Ginger*:) said...

I am so happy that Paige is embarking on another book as is Kate! And also very glad to know that others do skip around. Sometimes there are roadblocks in a text that require a lot of extra attention. Some of those have to be left for later, and others for the same reason need to be dealt with right away.

This is also a special thanks to all who follow our Picture Bookies Blog and those who post here as well.