Thursday, 27 January 2011

Children's Illustration: Perfecting Animal Characters


At last! I have finally had the feedback I need to get on with my revisions for my Baby Goes Baaaa! picture book project.
This is one that I've written myself. Some time ago, once the text seemed ready, I drew all the illustrations in line, to give the project the best chance of success when I pitched it to potential publishers. I knew the odds of it being acceptable exactly 'as is' were small, so there was no point doing coloured artwork until I had my contract.

The Christmas log-jam created a hold-up at my publishers, which I've found a little frustrating, especially as I can see that deadline chugging ever closer, like a stolid little tugboat, dragging Bologna behind it.

But luckily my editor at Egmont only wants quite minor changes to the original roughs, and all things I agree with: no resigned sighs or grinding of teeth necessary. Hurrah!



The main feedback was that many of the characters needed to look younger. It's a baby book and, whilst the animals are obviously child-age, my editor's right: they should, as far as possible, be 'toddlers'. This is fairly easily achieved: bigger, rounder heads, bigger paws, plumper bodies and shorter, chunkier limbs.


This one has evolved through various stages to end up where it is now:


And it's interesting: having not looked at the drawings myself for a couple of months, I saw several things I wanted to change too, mainly to do with the outfits they are wearing.

I felt these polar bears for instance, were much too naturalistic, and look much better now, with their cute sweaters.

10 comments:

Caroline said...

I love the new book concept and it's very interesting to see the changes you've made - just a small tweak here and there makes a big difference! Good luck - looking forward to seeing more as you progress!

Oksancia said...

Lovely! I really like what you did with these roughs. Both variants look wonderful, but I do prefer the new ones now that I see them both. I especially love the sweaters on the sleeping bears. Adorable! Good luck with your new book!

Cathy Holtom said...

Fascinating to see this evolve and the polar bears in sweaters are so appealing!

Sue Pownall (aka travelingsuep) said...

The polar bears in sweaters look so sweet. Congrats on only having to make minor changes.

magic said...

What a lovely book, all the characters are very cute x

Tomás Serrano said...

The first image of the polar bears is beautiful, but, yes, in sweaters is so funny...

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you folks - let's hope they like them!

Rosie said...

Your illustrations are beautiful and full of personality. I can never draw anything with wheels...

Jon Davis said...

Very interesting, thanks for posting.
I've just been doing the same thing :)
I do find that having the second pair of eyes of the editor look at the pictures to be helpful, they often pick up on things I missed, and I tend to be happy with changes, too.
I do like all the jumpers and romper suits you've got here.

Bethany Hissong said...

Sweet!!!! It is amazing how little changes do project a whole different feel. I'm in love with your drawings!!!