How to Illustrate a Children's Picture Book Part Three: Creating a Book Dummy | Claire Lordon | Skillshare

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How to Illustrate a Children's Picture Book Part Three: Creating a Book Dummy

teacher avatar Claire Lordon, Author-Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Pros and Cons of Analog vs Digital


    • 3.

      Scanning Your Storyboard


    • 4.

      Setting Up Your Document in Photoshop


    • 5.

      Sketching Your Spreads


    • 6.

      Coloring a Few Spreads


    • 7.

      Creating a Digital PDF


    • 8.

      Creating a Physical Copy


    • 9.

      Final Tips


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About This Class

Illustrating a children’s picture book - creating a book dummy

Learn from multi-published author-illustrator Claire Lordon as she teaches you how to create a finished rough draft of a children's book, which is also known as a book dummy. Third in this three-part series, Claire will teach you all the steps that go toward completing a book dummy. This class is perfect for anyone who loves illustrating, drawing, writing, and all who love children's books. To start this class you will need a completed storyboard with thumbnails. While no prior experience is necessary it is helpful to come into the class with some drawing, character design, knowledge of picture books, and composition skills.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Claire Lordon



Claire Lordon is an author and illustrator in Vancouver, Canada. She creates children's books, surface designs, murals, maps, and greeting cards for a number of companies.

She is the author and illustrator of "Lorenzo, the Pizza-Loving Lobster" (little bee books) and illustrator of "Over at the Construction Site" (Word... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: hello and welcome to how to illustrate Children's picture book Part three creating a picture. But well, you didn't have to join me in part one until this course you will need a finished or board was finished thumbnails for this class, we're gonna be using our thumbnails as guides to create some sketches as well a few pieces of final art to create a book, Rough Draft, which is called a bit then in this class, I'm also going to cover the pros and cons of working analog versus digital. How to scan your story board setting up your documents. Apo the shop, sketching your spreads, Putting your tummy together in the digital PDF and how to create a physical copy If you want work old school and not digitally the supplies you'll need are good eraser, pencil pen and whatever medium you are most comfortable with creating your final art. If you want to work digitally, you'll also need a racer pencil of a pen as well as a scanner and whatever software you're most comfortable with, I'm gonna be using Adobe Photo Shop. You can always download a trial. We need to. So let's get started of this class. I'm excited to share my knowledge with you. 2. The Pros and Cons of Analog vs Digital: hi again. So when creating your book to me, you have two choices. To implement it. You can either draw analog or digital metiers such as pencils, pens. Or you can draw visually using such materials as a drawing tablet that's actually Photoshopped or iPad with procreate or whatever your whatever you prefer. There are pros and cons to each approach. Let's start with traditional driving. The pros include it being easy. You just need some drawing materials and paper. You don't have to worry about resolution memory space on your computer file formats or computers. Breaking it usually also comes weren't actually the cons are that it's hard to share electronically because you have scan it or photograph it. If you want to move something around, you have to draw it again. Penn is not embraceable so, and it's hard to share with agents and publishers as none want original art. You would have to photograph it and then share it that way for digital drive. The pros are it's easy to erase it. Season with things around, and it's easy to share. You don't have to keep my pain and paper, which is a plus. The cons are you need a computer software and most likely a drawing tablet, which could be a little expensive. Some people also use the iPad and apple pencil, and there are costs associated with both of these as well. They're also tends to be learning her, but the software and you have to deal with things like resolution by all sides is such communication tablets Council break at inopportune times? It's happened to me before. Which way is up to you? You may want to a combination of both, but just know that pretty much all agents and editors expect a digital PdF if you work and they don't expect anything physical at all, I personally go straight to visual drying after scanning in my thumbnails, which I'll cover the next lesson. Think about which approach or combination of approaches you want to do for your dummy. And once you decided, I'll sing in the next video. Thank 3. Scanning Your Storyboard: Hi there. Just so you know, if you're dropping of traditional media, you can skip the next too. Okay, So the first step in creating your book, dummy, is that you need to use your thumbnails on your soul aboard as a reference for your drawings. You can refer to them and just go straight in the drying new thumbnail or a new sketch. But I like to scan my thumb 1000 use them as a rough draft for driving Photoshopped. I like doing this because my thumbnails tend to have mawr life and motioning them. Drives can become a little stiff. When you have a larger drawing area, you're probably wondering how you can scan. Your giants are aboard. I had a small cannon. Not today. No need to worry. I have a small scanner to and astonish you. The first thing you want to do is scan half your story board at a time. Then you'll have the 2/2 scam. You want to make sure that there is some overlap in your scans. Otherwise the next step won't work. Um, the knee check. I'm going to show you. I learned from my friend and Bollman of and was here but to open photo shop and don't open anything it. But go to the top where it says file. Then go click, automate and then boat emerge. Click, browse and select your two halves of your scam. You want to make sure you left that I was selected and then press OK and let photo shop work its magic. It might take a while. If you get an error, you might need to have more overlap between the two images. Eso try scanning it again with more overlap. Might take a few seconds multi processing. And there you go. Now you have your story board. I suggest saving it as a Photoshopped, the ill as well as, Ah, high Resolution J. Peg. You'll be referring back to this image as you dry your individual pages and spreads next video. I'll go over how to set up your documents and photo shop. See you then 4. Setting Up Your Document in Photoshop: Okay, So setting up your document correctly info shop is very important. Just decide. Now I'm using photo shop CS six and on a Macintosh computer. But what I'm doing to work in most versions of the software. So first we want to create our canvas. I go up to file select New and here are options to create our canvas. So one page of our book dummy is eight inches by eight inches. So when we create a spread, it's going to be double the width. So it's going to be 16 inches wide by eight inches high. Make sure you slipped inches on this drop down menu and you want the resolution to be 300 pixels per inch. This is also known as D P I. For a color mode, we want gray scale This way, it helps keep the document a little bit small. And for now, don't worry about anything else here on the bottom press. OK, okay. So now we have this really big, nice rectangle. Um, now we want to add our gutter to it. So what do you want to dio is you want to create a new layer by going down to the very bottom right and clicking on this new layer icon. And I want to go over to the shape tool. If it's not already on the rectangle, hold and click and then or right click and then select back tangle. Um, you want to make sure that the pill color on the top is either black or a dark red. So now you're going to create a nice and small rectangle. Nice, tall, lengthen, and then you are going to double click on the background layer. This will unlock it. Now I can see some cross hairs here in the middle. You want to take your ruler guide and drag it over to the middle? This is gonna help us align our rectangle. So once you you know your rectangle over to the middle, you can't remove that guide. Okay, so now we have our gutter in the middle of our canvas. So let's lock both of these layers. So then nothing will move those around. Now we want to open our thumbnails that we created in the last in the last lesson. So we want open knows. So here we go. So this isn't flat or merged yet. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna up go upto layer. And while the two layers are selected and click merged layers now it is just one single image. Next, I'm gonna slip the marquee tool again. If it's not the rectangle, uh, holding, click or right click and select Direct tinkle. Next, I'm going to select the image that I want to sketch and I marquee around it. And then I right click and I click layer via copy. Once I have this layer slept it on the right, I'm gonna go to layer and then duplicate layer and then where it says document, I'm going to select untitled one that's are spread that we're working on right now. Press OK, And I could go back to our first document, go down to the bottom, and now we can enlarge this. So you want to make sure you press shifts this way? It helps makes the proportions the same. So you want drag that and you're going to make it nice and big. It might be a little pixelated or, you know, washed out, but that's totally okay. It's just a guide. So next thing on, do is over here, above the layers. You want to change the layers setting, blending mode to multiply. And then you want to lower the A pass ity down so you can see it, Um, as a nice guy. And you wanna lock this layer as well create a new layer above it. And there you go. Make sure you save this, and in the next lesson, I'll go over sketching your spread. See you then. 5. Sketching Your Spreads: hi again. So in this video, we're gonna talk about sketching your spreads into your dummy. This is pretty self explanatory, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First thing is that you want your dummy to be readable. So I'm going here for my sketch for that I got from my thumbnails. So for sketching, I just go over here to the left hand side is great. And it's like my brush and I right, click and choose the brush That is the 4th 1 that depending on your settings, you might just have to go to the top left. And you can choose your brush there as well. So I just know just start sketching and you can also change the size of your brush by going up to the top left and using the slide bar right here. And then you just use whatever Petr Petzel you're most comfortable with and scotch your dummy. Here is my sketch for my dummy. It doesn't have to be super tight unless you want it to be. Keep in mind that this is something that you will be sharing with an editor or agent. So you want to show off your skills while showing your style. Keep your dummy in black and white or gray scale. Don't call your spreads yet. Agents and editors want to see that you're willing to make edits. And if you're spreads are in full color, it shows that you might not be willing to make changes. Second thing is that you can go in any order you feel like completing the spreads. This, for example, is Page 22 21. Some people like completing them in page order. Some people like drawing one character throughout the whole book before moving on to something. Girls, the choice is up to you. Third thing is that if you are drunk digitally, you want to keep your files organized. When I saved my spreads, I usually have them in a folder titled Sketches. And so let's save this save. It's okay, let's save this. So let's make a new folder so its title sketches. Okay, so I'm gonna title this twenties. Dash 21. That's the page. Corresponding page number. I recommend you do that whenever you were saving your work spreads. And if you have to dio revision or something, you can do be after the number or see etcetera. So I'm just going to say this as 20-21. Okay, Another thing you want might want to consider is adding a font with the text from the story . Some people like doing hand written fonts argument, just putting it in with, uh, text, because that's usually a decision that the art director makes here. I chose Aponte. That kind of goes along with my style. Um, good rule of thumb is pick of bond. That kind of goes along with the style that you're working with and thought size should be about 12 to 18 although font sizes can very, quite a bit. Another thing that you want toe ad would be some page numbers. So on the bottom, this helps when someone else is reviewing your work. And they could be very specific when they say, like, Hey, on page six, think about changing this. Yeah, and so that's pretty much all I have for this video about sketching. So I will see you the next video where I talk about coloring a few spreads in your dummy CNN 6. Coloring a Few Spreads: hi again in this video. I'll be talking about coloring some in the spreads in your book, dummy. As I said in the previous lesson, you don't want to call your full dummy. You only want to color 2 to 3 spreads before you start coloring. Look at your sketch stuff me and shoes 2 to 3 spreads that will show a good example of the workers about. They don't have to be in consecutive order, just something that shows the main action of the book. I'm choosing my page 22 21 which shows the hair waking up realising that tortoise is just about to win. Once you've decided, go back and sketch it, grab your sketch. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna move this image into a new document, So I'm gonna go to file new and from this money, we want to select U. S. Paper letter size, a letter and color mode. C M y que says Select that. Go back to your sketch, select the layer that has your sketch on it and go layer duplicate layer and put the document that destination to untitled. Okay, so now you want to press shift and drag to make it smaller. Okay, there we go. So this doesn't really have much about outlying right now. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go over here to the rectangle tool and up on the top where it says, Phil, I'm going to do that with the with, like, the gray off the red slash the road. That means it's not gonna have any color. And over here on the stroke side, I'm gonna put black right now. Is this three point? We can see whether that with works for us or not, I'm going to just now drag and pull the heavy. But there we go. You can just drags. It might start locking to the image a little bit for that. I just great. There we go. I'm going to merge these two together by still, if you go for them going upto layer and then merged layers or you can do ah, command E. So now these air both together, I'm gonna take this and duplicate them. So I'm gonna hold on to the layer here on the right. I'm gonna pull it down toe where a new layer symbol is and then I have a copy. We're gonna pull down, and I'm gonna do the same thing two more times. So what I'm doing here is I am going to create these little thumbnails that I'm going to explore some color ideas on, so these are really nice. So this way you can figure out your color scheme, Um, so that when you go to the final art your who don't have toe, rewind and try and figure it out there. If you figure it out here, you just go to the final and you know exactly what you're doing. Okay, so So to help me figure out what kind of color options I wanna have on my final piece, I do some exploratory color samples, Um, in a little bit of a thumbnail sketch. So what I do is I create a new layer down in the bottom, right, and I put the layer setting to multiply. And then from here, I can just use my brush and brush over, and you can see that the line works will still show through. So I'm gonna show you my examples that I finished. So these are the color samples that I did for my page 2021. As you can tell, they're kind of rough, and that's okay. You just kind of want to see what the overall page is gonna look like as faras color goes. So the one that I picked is the one on the bottom here, and what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna So you see how these four colors are all on the same layer? I'm gonna move this one off on its own layer by using the lasso tool in the upper left corner. I'm gonna lasso around it and I'm gonna go right click and go layer via cut. And then I'm gonna combine this layer with the with my wine work by selecting both of them and going layer and merge layers. Or you can do command eat. So now they're both together. And now I'm going to move this back over to my sketch, so I'm going to do layer. Actually, no one more thing after first. So I have to go back to my sketch toe where it says image mode. And you see, I was selected on Gray scale. We want to move over to see him like a color. So this way we can start working on color in this piece. You want to make sure you don't choose any of the other colors here cause CIA Mike, it color is what art director, editor or agent is gonna look for. So you're gonna have some pop ups you want to select, Don't merge. And okay, so now this is gonna be an color. Let's go back to our still male with color. So we're gonna select that good a layer duplicate layer, and we want to select 20 to 21. So So now we have our guide as to what we want our color to be. So I just keep this in like, the upper corner, and I turn it on and off as I need to when I'm working on my color. So as far as finishing your color goes, that's up to you again. If you're working traditionally, eventually, you're gonna want to scan this or take a photograph of. It's just so you can have a digital so you can share it. Um, so when you're working on your color, approach it however you want to do it, however, you usually do your final art. Whether that's watercolor or digital or collage, everyone has their own techniques. Do your own final art in your own specific way. Make it truly you and it will be great. So my final color example looks like this. So the only thing that's missing right now are the page numbers at the bottom. So I'm gonna add that again. So 20 and 21 Okay. So you can see it's full color and also want to say this, Or at least how I do is I save it as the page number and then the word color after it. So that way I know that it's in color. Okay, So in the next video, I'm gonna show you how to put your dummy together digitally for easy sharing. See you then. 7. Creating a Digital PDF: Okay, So once you have all your spreads on both black and white and a few color once you need to put this together digitally. This way you can easily show your dummy my favorite weight issues photo shop. But you can use Adobe Acrobat as well. So high approaches is that I save almost prez as Photoshopped, PSC's or PDS. Then you want to make shots, makes your photo shop is open and go in a file automate pdf batch presentation. Make sure you click multi page document and then click Browse. Find your sketches as well as your color ones. If you have a color version of spread, make sure you just used the color one and not both the black and white and the color version. So I'm gonna select mine. Oops. Select mine, right Here we go. Okay. So sometimes when you put them when it just, you know, shows up, they're out of order. So now you have toe drag them back into order. So see 45 see if I can do two at once. You know que 67 89 So let's just double check. They're in the right order one. Okay, that looks like the right order. Okay, so now you click save. Okay, So I recommend you save your pd fto wherever you want to save it. And then I'd like to title it. Um, like, title the story working on another word, dummy. So in this case, it's going to be, um, the tortoise and the hair dummy dot Pdf. So click save, and we'll want you can save a high quality version for yourself, but the ones that you're gonna be sending off toe, um, agents and like, editors, you wanted to be a really small file cause they receive so many. And, you know, that's loves memory space for their computer. So clicks save smalls file size, and then click save PdF and photo shop is gonna work its magic again, and it's gonna compile those all together for you. So let's, um, sit back and watch, okay? And so now it's done. So let me go open it in Acrobat. Okay, So here is my acrobat window that pops up. I'm gonna click open and scroll down to my tell me, and here you can see it. You just use the up and down arrows to go from page to page. Okay. In my next video, I'm going to talk about printing your dummy. See you then. 8. Creating a Physical Copy: Okay, so maybe you want to have a physical copy of your dummy to show friends or four Conference . What are your options? The first option is the one that I recommend. Those is enough to go to a local print shop. I'm just going to local print store and tell them that you want to print a comic or a simple book. I know that you're not printing of a comic, but this is what print shops are most usedto being asked. Here's a copy of a comic I have printed at a local print store. While it is a comic, they're very used. Teoh asking for simple books. And that's basically what you're your local print store may also have different fighting and pick your options available. If you're going to a conference, there's no need to do anything fancy. Just a staple binding will dio. Another advantage to this option is that you could give the print shop files as they are, and you don't worry about figuring out which page principal next to the other page. And as they have software that do that, that as they have software that does that for them, Andi can also print multiple copies room easily. The second option is putting it yourself. Um, when you do this, unless you have a large format printer, the book won't be the correct size. Um, I have a large format printer, and if there's enough interest, how to create imprint your dummy with the large format prayer, leave a comment in the class, and I might do a separate class on how to do it. Having a physical copy of your dummy is a great way to celebrate your accomplishments. I love physical books. I love having a physical dummy. It just feels so special. In the next video, I'm gonna go over my final thoughts and net some tips and accepts them. 9. Final Tips: I wanted to say Thanks for joining me on how to create a Children's picture of dummy help you learn so much in three part class and have some fun. The final part of this class is the upload wanted to color spreads from your finished dummy . I want to see your projects. I really dio. I know you've been working so hard on them, and it will be great just to see everyone's and I'll take a look at them now. The next part is up to you. In the class material section, you'll find a PdF titled Next Steps in this PDF exit shares of organizations, tools, tips and advice. Um, for your next steps. These include tips to finding a critique group, the pros and cons of working of agents or by yourself, tools to help your fighting podcasts and so much more. So just wanted to say Thanks for joining me. Follow me on skill share and cast a pall. Me, My social media handles richer on the screen right now, and I'm looking forward to see you in the next class as we'll see your projects. Okay. Thanks for joining me by