Starting My New Picture Book Artwork!

By Lynne Chapman

I've finally had the go-ahead from my publisher on those last few redraws of the illustrations for my new picture book Swap!, so at last it's all go! I've only done about half my tracing-up, as it's such a tedious task, tracing all the line work onto my pink pastel paper on the light box. I have to do it in the dark too, despite the sunshine outside (groan), as the pastel paper is too thick to see through otherwise. 

It was great to get stuck into colour though. I started with the first spread of the book, not because I like to work through in the correct order, but because I had clear ideas about the colours things needed to be (pretty much pink, pink, pink), so it was a safe place to begin. 

It was also a comfortable way to find the main characters, as they are very large on the page. I  was imagining Lucy blond, but concerned that might not jump out of the page as much as brunette, especially as I am rather fond of soft, pastel coloured backgrounds (which we will drop in later, digitally).

I wasn't sure what colour to do Sparky. Black would be tricky for showing details, white a little boring, brown a bit dingy and dull... I wanted him to stand out from the backgrounds too, so I chose white with tan bits, to make it more interesting and colourful.

Watch this space for the rest of the artwork.  


  1. Looking good Lynne! How do you deal with all the pastel dust? How long do you estimate the artwork will take you?

  2. I allow about 1.5 days per spread. If it's simpler, like this one, I might get it done in a day, if complex it might take 2, but it evens out over the book.

    Pastel dust is not a problem if you have the desk at an angle. You just get a messy floor!

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  4. Congrats! Thanks for sharing some of your process. I think Sparky is just right...and all that pink?... divine!


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