Drawing & Illustration Tips : Learning to Draw Books

Drawing & Illustration Tips : Learning to Draw Books


Joel Hickerson, grindog.com and the topic
today is how to draw a book or how to illustrate a book. I’ve illustrated I guess now probably
over 50 different books and each project seems to take on its own personality and requires
a different approach. Some of them have been for instance picture books and picture books
take an entirely different approach than say a chapter book. On a picture book for instance
the pictures are what is selling that book. The story line is what is going to be kind
of neat and nifty but if you don’t illustrate that book to where it really emphasizes the
text and even the words you illustrate the letters sometimes and the words so you really
need to have a solid impact as you go through this book with your illustrations. Now the
other type book that you might or another type book that you might illustrate is a chapter
book and a chapter book needs to be a little more subtle, the text is what is taking this
one, taking the reader through the book so the reader may come upon pages and pages of
text and then all of a sudden get surprised with an illustration. Well that illustration,
the author may leave up to you to pick which part of that text to illustrate and when that
happens you better get something with a lot of impact and a little bit of action and dynamism
so that the reader is drawn that much more in the book and then also here again the artist
is very important and is probably just as important as the author because the artist
has to come up with this character that matches this author’s view and vision. If you pick
a brunette kid when you are writing about a blond then you’ve missed the point. You
haven’t read the book and you are not doing the author or the book any justice and then
there are other types of books and you’ll come upon manuals maybe even rules books.
I illustrated this one book for a rugby referee that created a referee rules book. Well we
took a humorous spin to it and we actually picked people that we knew and we threw them
into the book and it created a little more personalization plus you already knew these
guys’ personalities so you didn’t have to create the personality or you might get a
how to draw book which usually if it is a younger audience it is even bigger and man
these are the greatest projects in the world and you can draw big and you actually get
to share your craft. The main thing that you need to look at when you take on a project,
an illustration of a book is 1) what project, is it a manual, is it a chapter, is it a picture
book? Your approach is it going to be humorous, is it going to be serious, it is going to
be retro, take all this into consideration but the main thing is to express yourself,
express who you are because as an artist you are just as important as the author so keep
that in mind and have fun.

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