Saturday, April 21, 2012

Picture Book Creation Process Part One

We have self-published three picture books over the past year (see links to the right) and we are currently working on our next.  This is a hobby for us that we fit in between our real jobs, but it is a lot of fun.  We started from scratch with zero knowledge of how to do this and have made most of it up as we go.  There are certainly some web sites we have gone to for information, and the Amazon KDP guidelines have been helpful, but most has been trial and error.

Step one.  You need a book.  This is probably the most important step.  We write our books as a team and usually start with the writing first.  Sounds like common sense, but on our first book we painted the pictures first.  It is about Easter and the pictures were very important to the feel of the book so we started with the illustrating.  Probably not a great idea, but it worked for that one.

Our next book is a going to be a rhyming book about Summer.  We finally finished the writing part and now we are illustrating.  We primarily use Procreate on an iPad to create our illustrations.  It was good before the latest update and now it is great! One of us does most of the illustrating and has tried Sketchbook, but ProCreate seems to give us better results.

The Summer book will be in watercolor style.  Here is a sample of the artwork.

This style is much different from our previous books.  In those the art work was more of a pen and ink/marker type painting.  For contrast, here is an image from Dog Wants To Be Famous!

We think this change in style will give it a breezy Summer feel. 

So our process to date:
1. Complete the story and text
2. Start illustrating

These are the fun parts.  We'll share some more as we go through the creation process and then add info later on the less fun formatting and publishing process we use.

Here are some links to the art programs we use.

Let us know what you think.  Do you think children will like the watercolor style?  If you create picture books how does your process differ?

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