Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teaching myself how to illustrate

Hello everyone,

Just a little update on my progress so far with my children's book. The editing is going very well and I should be able to get the book published by the end of the year. But then, there's something else that's important to children. Pictures. As a child I spent most of my days in the library reading. But guess how I chose my looking at the pictures.

That brings me to the point I want to make. Illustrators--wonderful but expensive illustrators. I looked at the prices and I'm not in the position right now to pay for one. I decided to ask a few friends who studied art. Some had too much work on their plates already and it wouldn't be fair of me to burden them some more. Others, well, they didn't see what I saw. So, last week I decided that hey, why don't I do it? I've never been good at drawing, actually I was good at drawing hearts. I took a few art classes in primary school but my work always looked the worst on the classroom walls. So, I decided it wasn't for me. Now, I'm thinking, says who? The person who said that was little shy Liz from primary school. Maybe big Liz can do it.

After all, I did teach myself photoshop, taught myself my new hobby, digital scrapbooking and even created a number of scrapbook supplies (If you haven't already, you can check them out at my other blog:

I thought maybe I should give drawing another try. And I did. Last week I did everything I could to teach myself how to illustrate by reading and watching online tutorials.
I'm a little shy about this since I'm just starting, but I do want to show you what I did...if you promise not to laugh. I did everything in photoshop. The flowers were done a few months back. I know its not perfect, but I do think if I put my mind to it, I could actually pull it off. What do you think?
This was my first illustration

Okay, there you go. Although I'm happy, illustrating is a lot of work. Well, it was for me as I'm a total beginner. It took me almost the whole day to create the house illustration. Did you notice that I used the background I had created? I took the river out. I drew the house in photoshop and did everything to try and make it look real. I'm not 100% happy, but it'll have to do for a start.

For my 50 page book I want to use around 10-15 illustrations but I don't know if I'll have the time to do all that in addition to editing my romance novel and the children's book. So, maybe I should try to get help again. I might find someone who's talented and shares my vision. At least I know I can do it myself if it doesn't work out. But, it just might. Yesterday, my husband mentioned the book to the daughter of a woman we know and without being asked, she said she'd like to do it. I don't know why I never thought of her. She's a young artist and I've seen  her paintings and drawings before. Amazing. I really love her style.

She's already started practicing and I'll be seeing her tomorrow to see what she came up with. I hope it works out. What I'm thinking of doing is maybe letting her illustrate some things and me others. I could, for example do the backgrounds and she the people. I also practiced drawing people (well a head), but I'm so scared my character will look different on every page. I also haven't tried yet to draw the body (I'm scared of all the different movements. I don't want to paralyze my characters). So, maybe she can help with those. If she's really brilliant, I might let her do everything. It depends on how busy I might get. I wish I had more time to do everything I want to do, but often 24 hours just isn't enough for me.

Well, I've nothing else to tell you. I'll let you know how it goes with my potential illustrator. I'm trying not to be too excited though, just in case I get disappointed.
Before I go, let me show you my floating head (not my head, my potential character's). I drew it by hand first, then colored it in photoshop. I know it looks kind of weird without the neck, but I spent hours on the head alone. The neck would have been a few extra hours and I wanted to stop, I was tired and hungry.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...the head (and I bow out). Try not to look too closely to my illustrations okay?:


  1. Wow...that looks nice and I'm sure it takes a lot of patience.

  2. Beautiful! I wish I could draw as well as you can--seriously! I love them. :)

  3. What wonderful illustrations! I say go for it on your own! Are you a member of SCBWI? They offer so many resources--I've learned a lot.