Tall Tale Tommy

Tommy lives next door, he’s always telling Billy stories about things he has done, amazing things, things that mum says not to believe; ‘Tall tale Tommy tells another’ she sighs. Billy is inspired by the stories and one day when Tommy isn’t in the garden waiting to tell another tale, Billy misses him, but a mystery package arrives, one to keep Billy dreaming. Unpublished.

Here is a little bit of an insight on how I work on a picture book. This is one of my own stories that I am working a few final illustrations on to send out to agents and publishers. Once I have the story edited I add notes to give me ideas on the images, I draw lots of character sheets, to fully develop each character for the story. This is then worked out to how each spread will look and I do a small very rough book dummy, (seen here but I’m not showing the full book, I don’t want to give the end away!) I try to vary the points of view, scale and whether they are full spreads or single pages, to add variety for the reader. I have then picked a couple of pages that I work up into full size roughs (sometimes scaled up if there is tiny detail.) Once I am happy with how it all works with text too I work up the final illustration.

Picture book dummy – rough sketches for Tall Tale Tommy

Giant octopus attacks a pirate ship
‘Tommy and the pirates’

However sometimes I have more than 1 idea for each section of text, as I have here, so I have worked on both. I’m not sure which I prefer! Here are a few of the rough dummy pages, the finished spread 3 and the two for spread 4 – these could all change of course IF a publisher were to take on the book, the art director and design team may have different ideas/suggestions!

Billy, small boy in bathtub on vast ocean with whale and mermaid, gull soars over the scene
‘Billy wondering if the pirate story is real’ #1
‘Billy wondering if the pirate story is real’ #2