Anyone can be a children’s book illustrator but not anyone can create engaging dynamic content that pulls the reader into the story without implementing a few special techniques.

Composition is one of the most important factors that every children’s book illustrator should pay particular attention to. The most important element of the composition is understanding how perspective influences your work. Perspective Is a very powerful tool when creating a scene. Think of perspective as a black hole that directs your pupils subliminally to the center taking along every other page element. If your perspective lines create a perceptual center off the page, your readers eyes will follow them subconsciously off the page. This might not always be a bad thing, if the perspective lines, for example, lead them to the upper right corner and the next illustration starts off there, the two pieces can work together as part of the illustration flow.

Another important factor is choice of colors. What colors work together? What colors set the mood? What do the colors I choose mean and how do they relate to the scene? These are all very important questions that every children’s book illustrator should ask themselves. There are a lot of online resources that will tell you what certain colors mean and what emotions they invoke as well as what colors work well together. Another thing the children’s book illustrator should keep in mind is what colors call attention to the reader. Less important or background elements should be more subdued and not call attention, while key elements and important pats of the story should be brighter and bolder. Colors should re-enforce the message and the mood of the scene.

The motion or direction of a children’s book illustration is a factor that some children’s book Illustrator’s fail to pay particular attention to. Working in random with perspective, where is the scene headed, what actions are taking place in the scene. Even though the kids book art is static you can convey a motion and movement that makes the actions come alive. This technique will give the children’s book illustrator the ability to create and almost animated scene, using things like blur, characters posed in motion and careful use of perspectives.

Lastly, the choices of view can put the reader in the story or take them out of it. The point of view is the eyes of the reader and every children’s book illustrator should take that into account. Where do you want the reader to be in the scene, low angle looking up, Close in on the characters or above them? If there are two characters whispering without other hearing them, you might want a slice up view of those characters while other are distant. If a character is running through a village, you might want a birds eye view. Each scene has a specific reason for showing different views.

Consider the story, the script and the feeling or mood of each scene. Any Children’s book Illustrator that uses their knowledge of Composition, perspective, colors, motion and point of view, will no doubt create a dynamic and engaging children’s book illustration that re-enforces the story in every way possible.


2 Responses

  1. Christy B.

    Thank you for the advice. I will share this with my budding illustrator. She’s only 16, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to launch out on the correct foot!

    I learned in a desktop publishing class the importance of drawing the eye to various parts of the page. It sounds quite similar, although our motion was created with words, headings, white space, and graphics, and yours is created with artistic masterpieces.

    I’ll pass this on to my daughter. Thank you!

  2. Angela Naomi

    Solid advice! Children’s books have to cater to children. You’re right about choosing the correct color schemes. I used to work with children a lot; storytelling ALL the time. If something didn’t look right in a book, they were quick to point it out. However, if the colors helped set the tone and mood, they would be even more attentive. There is a lot that goes into illustrating a book. You’ve easily made it clear to see that paying attention to details and pairing of colors is just as important as the storyline.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.