Thumbnails

Jan 12, 2024 | Picture Book Development

The Picture Book Course was back this week, after three weeks off for Christmas. Although I enjoyed the downtime over the holidays, it felt great to be back at it!

As I mentioned before, I had a story idea in mind when I started this course, but I took the instructor’s advice and put it aside while working through the process and weekly assignments. This week, however, I was able to go back to the story I had started, and started sketching thumbnails!

Thumbnails are small, rough sketches that illustrators make after reading or writing the manuscript. Thumbnail sketches are where we figure out what we’ll will draw on each double page spread—I like to think of each spread of a book as a scene in a movie that presents a distinct idea or event.

Planning the Layout

Since I was creative director of a few magazines in the past, I’m used to working with page charts—so I actually created a 32 page chart in Adobe InDesign to work out the copy and make notes about the illustration content before I started working on the thumbnails. This helped speed up the process, since I had already visualized the way I wanted everything to look, and how it would fit together.

When planning a book layout, it’s important to consider a variety of things such as colour, light & dark, pacing or indication of time passing, scale and other visual themes.

I tried to balance overall design cohesiveness with different types of layout to add visual interest to keep the reader’s interest and make sure they keep turning the page.

Once my initial sketches were inked, the next step was to add some basic colour. The final artwork will be created with ink and watercolour, so I used those materials for the thumbnails to get an idea of how it will all come together.

The next step is to build a dummy book! Next week, I’ll scan these thumbnails, enlarge them a little, add in the text and then print them and assemble them into a mini-book so I can double check that the copy and illustrations work well together, and everything flows properly.

I can’t wait for this next step, and soon to start working on the final artwork!

Sketchbook

Here’s a peek at some new additions to my sketchbooks!

Recent Posts

Julie Bateman

Hi there! I've been a self employed graphic designer, working from a home office in Barrie, Ontario Canada since 2003.

In the summer of 2022, I decided to start an ink & watercolour travel journal to document an upcoming road trip from Ontario to Prince Edward Island with Rob, my husband, and Bella our Old English Sheepdog.

From there, I fell in love with drawing, painting and documenting my world in sketchbooks. That learning process inspired me to follow the dream of writing and illustrating a picture book for children.

That's where this blog begins.

If you're interested in collaborating or hiring me for freelance projects, please email me at julie@batemandesigngroup.com

 

Recent Posts

Professional Development Days

Professional Development Days

Last year, along with writing and illustrating my first picture book, I added schedule quarterly professional development days to my list of intentions. As a self employed graphic designer, my days often get filled with client projects, so it felt important to make...

Creating the Final Artwork

Creating the Final Artwork

So, here we are—working on the final artwork during this cold, snowy week in January. I've 'finished' the first spread and have started working on the second. I love this part of the process! Although many illustrators seem to prefer working digitally using software...

Making a Dummy Book

Making a Dummy Book

This week was a lot of fun! We learned a lot about the importance of making dummy copies of our books to test out the format, page turns, pacing, etc. To make mine, I scanned in the thumbnails that I made last week, enlarged them a little, added text in InDesign, then...

Our True Colours

Our True Colours

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to work on the book again until after I'm finished the Picture Book Course—but I changed my mind. I was sad yesterday, so I started choosing a colour palette to cheer myself up. On Saturday morning, I woke up to our find our...

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a behavioural health phenomenon described as self-doubt of intellect, skills, or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals. Now, I wouldn't say that applies to me exactly but last week when the other students in the private Facebook group...

Picture Book Course

Picture Book Course

Eek! Here we go!  In September, I celebrated 20 years of being a self employed graphic designer. Perhaps because of that milestone, one of the goals I set for myself this year was new: to write and illustrate a picture book inspired by my old English sheepdog...

Character Development

Character Development

I finished the first draft of my manuscript this afternoon! Wow, does it feel great to be able to say that! My production schedule has been very full with graphic design projects lately. In between juggling three larger, long term projects with the day-to-day website...

Stay in touch!

Please join our email list if you’re interested in watching my journey to becoming a published picture book author and illustrator progress. If you’re a Kid Lit Agent or Publisher, or if you’re interested in a collaboration, I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to email me at julie@batemandesigngroup.com if you have a direct inquiry.

Join Our Mailing List

11 + 6 =