Penny the Princess in all her glory!

And so the year has begun with a bang…

Penny is just about on her way to being complete. Her story book is called Penny the Princess in the Aquarium Adventure. People often ask how I illustrated the books, so with Penny’s book nearing completion I thought to answer the many questions through telling her story of creation.

Step 1

The very first step to any book is to do my research and make the decisions that I hope will show off the personality type that is being portrayed. For Penny this was easy, because as a sweet personality type she loves flowers and all things pretty. So I drew inspiration for the illustrations from the art genre of Art Nouveau, which is a highly decorative and colourful type of art. I used aspects like symmetry, decorative borders, pattern and repetition – all with a dash of modernism. If you would like to know more about Art Nouveau, click on the quick 5min clip below by the Goodbye-Art Academy.

Step 2

Now that I knew what style of illustrating I would turn to for inspiration, I marched off to the Aquarium for some more inspiration and came away with these fun photos – thanks Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, that was so much fun!

Step 3

After that I then plot out the illustrations on a storyboard, so i can see what the entire book will look and feel like. This is the stage that I just put down whatever my thoughts are without thinking about it too much and also this is the stage where I get to see how the text might flow with the illustrations. This is what Penny’s very first storyboard looked like:

Step 4

I then created the decorative border and circle templates so I knew how much space I needed for the illustrations and text, and by having those templates it made it super easy to re-create them for every page.

Step 5

And then it was time to roughly draw out each double page spread in a mini book format, so I could see it as a storyboard and also page through it like a book. That was fun – getting closer to doing the full colour collage and pencil drawing illustrations.

Step 6

Again I was off to do some more research on photo references for body postures, facial expressions and sea creatures. And then completing the final art work.

As you can see above, I have the body posture reference which I found on a Google search, the rough pencil drawing and finally the illustration. For the final art piece I decided not to include the whales that I had drawn on the rough illustration, and rather linked the final image with another image from earlier in the book, by having the fish tank behind Penny.

Here’s another example above of the process – from reference photos to the rough drawing, to the final illustration. Poor sad Penny…

Step 7

And then its off to the scanner to scan the art work, and then off to the graphic designer to pop the text in on all the pages, and then all the files go to the printer and we wait for the first proof copy. Exciting!

For news on the release of Penny the Princess in the Aquarium Adventure do fill out the newsletter form and we will be in touch soon.



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