The Illustration Process

Character sketches: I make many sketches to figure out how the characters should look. I've used animals, people, and even aliens.
See sample sketch.

Sample art: Depending on the subject, my art style might be cartoonish, realistic, or somewhere in between. I test different “looks” by making color sketches.

Dummy: This is a rough mock-up of the book that has the words and the pictures on each page. The dummy has to be approved by the editor and art director at the publishing house. See sample dummy page. After the dummy is finalized, only then do I start rendering the finished artwork. (It is much easier to change the dummy than to redo a piece of final art.)

Working drawing: I draw an outline of the illustration, leaving room for the text. (See right, #1)

Penny Steps
Final rendering: The drawing is the guide to where the color goes. I mix colors, and start filling in the empty spaces. (See above, #2 and #3.) It usually takes several days to finish each page.

This artwork was painted with traditional art materials—acrylic paints and brushes on watercolor paper. For computer illustration, see Digital Art page.

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