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Monday, March 6, 2017

Colour rough, text placement, page layout in Picture Book Illustration Process

I'm creating colour roughs, nearly there. A "colour rough" is a smaller size coloured work to get an idea of colour balance, layout, etc in a picture book project. A colour rough is a miniature and an experiment of a real paper size one. That fun process comes after "black and white" and a sb ("storyboard"). In black and white and a thumbnail sb, images are roughly set.

In a colour rough, an illustrator tries different colours in black and white drawings and check balance and harmony in spreads. Which colours will work out for the spread or not? In an entire book, what colours are preferable? I tried different colours to create the fur of a dog, "Socks." So far, I'll keep this colour use and see how it goes. I'm looking at the colours all through spreads.
My Dog Socks 
I'll chat over a text placement and a page layout. It's a design and a composition of spreads. The space of a text and the balance of layout were already set in the stage of black and white. Like black and white, ensure to leave a good space for a text in colour roughs. Printed sentences consume a good amount of space in a page. Have a look of any picture book at hand and study where spaces are in a spread. For example, move around cut out sentences on illustrations and check where's the best spot in your project. You'll find the difference in varied places of words. A text placement and a page layout are crucially important in a children picture book.

Apart from a technical stuff, when a page layout is decided, colour rough needs to be approved by an author, an editor, a publisher and a book designer. It's a group work in a publishing team. In discussion, colour rough is changeable. Certainly, that's why called, "rough." Any image and design could be replaced in order to create the best.
Cutting out a text for placement
Of course, an illustrator gets stuck and struggles hard to create images. Sometimes, I'm down and out. Ford St Publishing, which is run by Paul Collins and Meredith Contain, assists my illustrating. We suffer together, work together and share joy!
My wonderful mentor Ann James encourages Sadami, "You have amazing strength, positivity and courage Sadami - and BRILLIANT talent with capturing people and animals inside and out!! The true portraitist!!" Wow, that's too much for me, but it makes me very happy and lifts me up. I'll try! 
Friendly established illustrators and sweet publisher Helen Chamberlin, too, support me. I deeply appreciate all the involved people's kind help. Yes, your cheers, too, Friends!  

To sum, the colour rough is coloured trials in a smaller size in order to examine a page layout, a colour balance etc. It demonstrates what kind of picture book will be "roughly." Any part of colour roughs is changeable. After the approval of a colour rough, an illustrator moves onto a real size work. Some friends and people ask, "Do you do it again?!" Yes. My answer surprises others. A picture book illustration process is very time and energy consuming. But it's a group work. I love it and it's a great joy. I'll get back to work. Busy.
Friends, Happy Painting. Enjoy illustrating!



  1. Sounds like a lot of work and lot of revising, too, but you can do it and make something beautiful again - just like Moon or maybe even better! I'd call that first painting of Socks a color Ruff! ha ha

    1. Ruff, ruff, sweet Rhonda! Thank you very much. Hahaha, me, too, thought of that onomatopoeia. I will make a good work. Best wishes, Sadami

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Blaga! Everybody falls in love with this portrait of Socks. My mentors, too. Cheers, Sadami