Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Children's book illustration

This is from a submission I did awhile back for a publishing company here in New Zealand.
I've since been developing more concepts aimed at the children's market.
I enjoyed doing the model sheet (far right image) as it helps keep a consistency with the character.

Tools used were Photoshop CS3.

Any thoughts or comments are most welcome!!


  1. Hey Jason,

    Always a pleasure hearing from you. Thanks for the comment on my new sketches. I guess there's no beating a good ol' sketch!

    I like this piece...but I have a few tips that I think could really benefit you. Hope you don't mind that I share them.

    Now, I'm not some expert, but what I find works best with cartoons is keepin it simple. For example, the girls arms. There are many lines, edges, and points that could have easily been simplified. Remember, you're drawing a cartoon, and not real-life. Keep it simple. I would have done one long stroke for her arms. No need to add the little details. (of course, it depends on the style you're going for)

    2) Proportions! This is a must. I like the composition of her arms (sorry I'm like pickin her apart for ya..hehe) one arm seems much longer that the other. Always check these things when you start with the sketch. Speaking of which, always start your characters with a skeleton. ALWAYS. Now, I dont mean bones and details, I just mean the basic form and shape. Head, shoulders, chest area, and so on... make sure theyre proportional, in perspective, and equal in size.

    With cartoons, I find the head should always be a bit bigger than the body (again, the style...) but in most cases, the body would be a bit more compact and put together for a more tidy, finished look.

    3) Strokes. Try to capture as much as you can with as little strokes as possible. Check out Dexters laboratory for example. Simple. Fast. Sharp, and easy. It gives a much more appealing touch and life to your characters.

    4)Reference. I almost ALWAYS check out images and resources online before I sketch. Make sure I got the right angles and composition of the body, arms, etc.

    I love the facial features, theyre great! Keep up the great work! and feel free to add me to MSN. :)

    Check ya later dude,


  2. Hey Abz,
    thanks for the comprehensive breakdown, really welcome it.
    If not for positive critique's I'd never push myself or grow as an aspiring artist.

    Definitely try to push myself further with referencing for the anatomy. Been using Loomis and Hamm (books) which are very detailed. The trick is like you've mentioned - trying to keep it simple to the nature of cartooning.
    As for style - that's something I'm still trying to discover and reckon will take some time and experimenting.
    As for the stroke - yeah that is an art in itself too. I've been studying an artist called Skottie Young and have found his economy of stroke to be very effective and simple in approach. It's that fine line (no pun intended) where what you leave out will still translate well to the viewer.

    Cheers for your comment