Open Sketchbooks Autumn Selection (2)

  Presenting some more choice pages from illustrators' sketchbooks! SCBWI members roved far and wide over the summer - including the south of France, Tuscany, and Japan. For some of us it's our imaginations that roamed - characters and story ideas spilling from the ends of our pencils!

Following on from Part 1 of our Open Sketchbooks Autumn Selection here are some more glimpses between the covers of sketchbooks from our hard working artists. Whether in the studio, in a café, en route to some far destination, or those quiet moments while relaxing, a sketchbook is an essential companion for illustrators. Any location, any moment of the day, they are our doodle pads, our visual diaries and idea workshops.

Bridget Marzo
A couple of sketches done with Neocolour II watercolor crayons - scanned from my Moleskine travel sketchbook. This spread is of fast sketches I often do when in the passenger seat in the car.  
This other was during a 20 min or so break during a walk.  Both done in the north of Provence in France.

Anne-Marie Perks

Imogen Foxell
A couple of pictures from my sketchbook, where I do a daily observational sketch. It’s a diary of my life, recording interesting things I get up to, but also days when I do nothing but sit at home and draw the kitchen sink. The first sketch features several iterations of a self-important duck...
...and the second is of the ceilidh at a friend’s wedding (where I twisted my ankle in the second dance and had to sit out).
Izzy Wingham
Two images here from my sketchbook, drawings that I did whilst on my travels through Italy!
@IzzyWingham   Instagram: izzyillustration

Jessica Lai
Character study...
... Travel journal through Japan this summer.
Instagram: jesscplai

Katie Weymouth
 Above is an exercise to find a character needed for an online magazine a couple of months ago.

This is a rough from a current picture book submission.

Katy Dynes
I am currently working on a lovely children's non fiction book about a pig. So the sketchbook images attached are some of my observational/research drawings.
I have a character sheet of my little pig of how he will look in the book; he's not in a sketchbook.....but on pages of tracing paper. I only tend to use sketchbooks when I'm 'out and about'.......otherwise tracing paper for all my other work and ideas.
Instagram: kittydinners
Leila Nabih
 A couple of sketches I did where I was practising rabbits and backgrounds. These were the original sketches which I then rendered on my tablet and coloured digitally. 
A couple of sketches from my latest 100dayproject on instagram. Unfortunately I haven't finished the project yet, but I intend to when I find the time. @LN_Illustration

Paul Morton
Two from the workshops that Lynn Chapman and David Lucas ran at the SCBWI Picturebook retreat.

Both story ideas will probably lead to some more development in my sketchbooks to see where I might go with them. @Paulhotfrog

Elizabeth Marchetti
Study of Robin the rabbit from my most recent sketchbook.

Sharon Davey
The first is a collection of possible Tin Soldiers from the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name...
... The second is another page from the same project with the Emperor's New Clothes as the subject and the Princess and the Pea has sneaked in at the top. The finished artwork has been sent to the client and approved for print as a poster for a Children's Theatre Tour of the UK.
Many thanks to all the member illustrators who shared the pages of their sketchbooks for Autumn. We'll be presenting some more sketchbook peeks in due course, so please do continue to send in your images!


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: 


  1. Another great batch of sketchbook pages.

  2. Thanks, guys, I loved looking at your sketchbooks! More! More!

  3. Fabulous! A great insight into the process, thank you!


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