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Children's Book Illustration


Over the Christmas holidays I had a chance to work through another module for my Make Art That Sells illustration course. The course consists of 5 modules for different art markets including; Bolt Fabric, Home décor, Children’s picture books, Wall art and Gift.


This time I decided to tackle the Children’s picture books illustration section!

The course gives plenty of reference, advice and resources about the market sector, artist life, legal & business aspects and more.


The assignment was to illustrate either the cover or a double page spread for the folktale "The White Cat" by Comtesse d’Aulnoy. We could interpret the story in any style and any colour, we were asked to connect to the story in our own unique way.


As per the advice I read the story, made plenty of notes, scribbled and sketched until something leapt out at me. As it turned out it was a page about 'dogs' that actually caught my attention. (I have always been more of a dog person!). Here are some of my initial dog sketches in my lovely cork sketch book.

Sketches of dogs and nature for a children's book


Once I'd chosen my favourite little dog characters I worked them up in ink in my water colour sketch book. I decided to work on each element individually and then place them in the scene somewhat 'jigsaw' like, partly because I was 'on the move' without my computer and with little space or equipment, so this method suited me. Below are some of my favourite little dog illustrations, I used a brush pen to ink the outlines.

Dog sketches in brush pen


In the story one of the characters meets 50 dogs and this scene really appealed to me. I tried to illustrate lots of dog breeds. I included dogs in lots of different poses… and with different personalities.

Fun dog sketches in different poses


I wanted to add a few accessories, such as scarves and hats, well why not!? I also spent some time illustrating plants, trees and some scenery for the background.


When I returned to my office I decided to take the project onto the computer, instead of finishing in water colours as first imagined. I scanned everything and worked in Photoshop to produce the final result. I decided the black outlines were too heavy so I toned down the colours and chose a muted palette. I added some texture for interest too. The last part was deciding upon the font styling.


I am really happy with the final results and I'd like to go back to this project and perhaps work on the front cover too. If you would like to talk to me about a children's book illustration project, please get in touch.

'Troop of Dogs' Children's Book illustration

'Troop of Dogs' Children's Book Design Close Up

'Spaniels and Lapdogs' Childrens Book illustration

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