Illustrating Children's Books: Creating Pictures for Publication


The successful book illustrator starts by understanding his author's flight of fancy, then rendering the ideas and actions imaginatively in pictorial terms. This unusual and inspiring book was written for art students and ambitious beginners. It instructs on methods of developing both imaginative powers and the technical artistic skills to produce high quality illustrations that will please authors and children's book editors. Separate ...
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The successful book illustrator starts by understanding his author's flight of fancy, then rendering the ideas and actions imaginatively in pictorial terms. This unusual and inspiring book was written for art students and ambitious beginners. It instructs on methods of developing both imaginative powers and the technical artistic skills to produce high quality illustrations that will please authors and children's book editors. Separate chapters focus on:
  • Media, materials, and techniques
  • Developing different drawing styles to fit specific storytelling methods
  • Instilling visual personality traits in story characters
  • Creating effective sequential images for storyboards and picture book outlines
  • Design, typography, and preparation for print
  • Illustrating story books for older children
  • Illustrating nonfiction and educational books
  • Breaking into the children's book publishing business
Here is solid, practical instruction for students of book illustration, enhanced with more than 250 how-to illustrations in color and black-and-white.
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Editorial Reviews

You'd expect an overview of children's book illustration to be chock-full of pictures, and this book does not disappoint. Each delicious page is designed to appeal to the reader. Salisbury, who is an illustrator himself, clearly adores the world of children's lit. He has organized the book into logical topics, beginning with a brief history of the genre. He moves on to the importance of drawing, then covers most of the media used to illustrate children's books: watercolor, acrylic, collage, prints and even computer-based illustration. No one book could or should stand as drawing teacher, and there are hundreds written on the individual media, but Salisbury's cursory tour is well done, with many fine examples to illustrate. To his credit, his choices are eclectic. He does not believe there is one "way" to draw that is particularly suitable for children, rather he supports any good art that has passion, surprise, imagination, and the ability to enchant. The book also deals with differences between picture books, books for older children, nonfiction illustration, character development, design and typography, and concludes with some helpful advice when trying to get published. It would be a delightful browse-through for anyone, although it seems particularly directed at the student or artist intending to enter the field. The writing is not nearly as interesting as the author's ideas or his visual examples, and occasionally he talks about pictures that are not shown, so we need to rely on his writing even more. Small criticism, however, for a lovely book that encourages the artist to enter the field. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, andadults. 2004, Barron's, 144p. illus., Ages 15 to adult.
—Susan Avishai
Library Journal
Illustrators of children's books have come into their own as fine artists. In this comprehensive, enchanting work, Salisbury, who is course director for the master of arts degree in children's book illustration at Anglia University, Cambridge, England, surveys the genre's distinguished history with examples from Caldecott, Greenaway, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, and Howard Pyle. Salisbury points to Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen as the bar for the quality and range of illustrative work. Through sketches and annotations, Salisbury explains how to create fantasy, fairy tale, realism, and nature drawing. Written for advanced students, the book covers storyboards and layouts, contracts, copyrights, and how to present one's work professionally. Highly recommended for all collections. For a gallery of ideas on the subject, some collections may also want to add Abrams's Wings of an Artist: Children's Book Illustrators Talk About Their Art. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
The chapters of this richly illustrated book touch on everything from media, materials, and techniques to design and typography, but the information given is not enough to actually teach the subject. Instead, the author gives readers a brief but interesting overview. For instance, in the chapter entitled "Character Development," Salisbury discusses mannerisms, facial expressions, and child-friendliness of characters, but doesn't tell readers how to actually create these effects on their own. However, this book does a very good job of addressing the many elements of illustration for someone who is unfamiliar with the process. Topics such as "What to illustrate," "Dynamics of composition and layout," and "Type as image" give a more concrete concept of the profession and artistry. The featured artwork is all pulled from children's picture books to demonstrate the concepts in the related text. Some are spot illustrations, a character or scene cut from its background, while others are spreads reduced to fit within the page with accompanying text. Colorful and lively, the illustrative material is indispensable to the content. A fine choice for adults interested in illustration, or as a resource for someone new to discussing art in children's books.-Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764127175
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/15/2004
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 239,124
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 A Brief History
Introduction 8
The 19th Century and the Golden Age 10
The 20th Century 14
Children's Book Illustration Now 16
Chapter 2 Drawing
Introduction 20
The Life Studio 22
Drawing Children 24
Drawing Animals 28
On Location 30
Case Study: A Sense of Place 32
From Observation into Imagination 34
Case Study: Nature Feeds Imagination 38
Chapter 3 Media, Materials, and Techniques
Introduction 40
Watercolor 42
Acrylic Paint 46
Oil Paints and Pastels 48
Black-and-White Work 50
Case Study: From Oil to Acrylic 52
Print-based Media 54
Collage and Mixed Media 56
Computers 58
Case Study: Going Digital 60
Chapter 4 Character Development
Introduction 62
Getting to Know Your Characters 64
Animals as Characters 68
Case Study: Kitamura's Creatures 70
Animating the Inanimate 72
Chapter 5 The Picture Book
Introduction 74
Concepts and Ideas 76
Form 78
The Sequential Image 80
Words and Pictures 84
Novelties and Pop-ups 86
Making Dummy Books 88
Case Study: The Wordless Book 90
Case Study: A Word/Image Relationship 92
Chapter 6 Illustration for Older Children
Introduction 94
What to Illustrate 96
Setting the Scene 98
Book Covers 100
Illustrating Poetry 104
Case Study: Following your Passions 106
Chapter 7 Nonfiction Illustration
Introduction 108
History Books 110
Practical, "How-it-Works" Books 112
Alphabets, Dictionaries, and Counting Books 114
Case Study: Mazes and Hidden Treasure 116
Chapter 8 Design and Typography
Introduction 118
Dynamics of Composition and Layout 120
A Concern for Design 122
Case Study: Type as Image 124
Chapter 9 Getting Published
Introduction 126
Professional Approaches 128
The Publisher's View 132
Contracts and Money 134
Glossary 136
Resources 138
Index and Credits 140
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