Open Sketchbooks Autumn Selection (1)

Sketchbook of Paul Gauguin, 1894
It's rough and it's raw - time to once more peek inside the sketchbook pages of our illustrator members. It's been a warm and busy summer for many of us!!

Open Sketchbooks is a look at the way illustrators explore inspirations and ideas, how we work out graphic conundrums, observe the world around us, and develop our style. More than finished pieces of artwork, our sketchbooks show us at our more experimental, or playful. Sketchbooks are both our workshops and our playgrounds.

For our first selection this season, we have bees, dragons, badgers, flamingos, and of course.... children! 

 Anna Violet
A couple of scans from my sketchbook showing buff-tailed bumblebee studies

Angela Russell-MacGillesheathenach
I write and illustrate my own books. The dragon is actually being turned into a painting,
The Treaty of Diera Leptailura and Thangrill Skyfyre

Aurelie Monsaingeon
Two sketchbook images.
I always have a few sketchbooks on the go, for different mediums, or different styles of sketching (quick, focused, detailed...)

Cathy Sidhu
Here are two scans from my sketchbook. They are for a story in the making that grows slowly in the background in between making art for exhibitions and other people.

Claire O'Brien
A recent page of observational sketches of classic children's book fodder; children and animals, made while holidaying in the Isle of Man.  I post a lot of my sketches to Instagram if anyone wants to see more.

Colette Alexandratos
The first image is titled: On a rainy day
The second one: The wishing well

Elizabeth Dulemba
These both show pages from my Style Bible on the left (I have an article about those coming out soon in the SCBWI Bulletin), and what has become my crosshatching sketchbook on the right. The top image features a study in multi-cultural children, some character ideas, and my ‘Fairy Orb’ crosshatch piece.
The second image features “D” in my Style bible - dogs and dragons, and a child and his monster in my crosshatch sketchbook. 

Emma Graham
Badger and Mouse - this is a prep sketch for a speculative picture book I'm working on. I always have a sketchbook nearby and this one was done at a very quiet local fair, so not all was lost!
Billy - had this chap in my head for too long and on lunch break recently, his story popped into my head and I just had to sketch him.

Hannah Sanguinetti
A sketch of a doll I made, and the beginnings of turning her into a character for a book idea.
Flamingos at Edinburgh zoo.

Howard Gray
character development drawings for a story idea
Doodles and sketches of animals on scraps of paper.

There are more sketchbooks on their way in Part 2!  SCBWI members - there's still time for inclusion in next week's selection - please email up to two scans or snapshots of recent sketchbook drawings, with caption and contact details, to this email address!


John Shelley is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures and co-coordinator of the Central East Network. He's illustrated over 50 books for children, many of them published in Japan where he lived for many years, and the USA. Picture books releases in 2016 are Will's Words: How William Shakespeare Shaped the Way You Talk (Charlesbridge, USA) and Yozora o Miage-yo (Fukuinkan Shoten, Japan). Twitter: @Godfox  Official Website: 


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