Book illustration for children



I love drawing flowers, food and all types of animals and I like to add a bit of fun when creating animal characters. Rather than just drawing a cat sittingย for example, it makes it look more interesting if the cat is doing an activity or interacting with say, another cat. In this post, I’d like to share with you my first book illustration for children.

For the book illustration, I drew a waddle of penguins painting a life model of a seal in an art class. I thought it would be fun to have each penguin doing something different. In the illustration, one penguin is looking down at its paining, another stood by its teacher and another penguin going totally off course, painting an ice-cream! I’ve given each penguin its own personality and the whole scene is visually telling a story.

Besides characters, I’ve kept to a limited colour palette using shades of blues, grey, warm yellows, reds, and white with snippets of black for contrasting. I find it brings a sense of harmony to the illustration which is pleasing to the reader, when using a small group of colours.

Children’s book illustration is an area I would love to go into. It’s very different to what I usually produce i.e. card designs and patterns. Although, not all stories have animals as their main characters. I’d need to be able draw people in action, and illustrate their emotions. The characters would need to be believable as well as engaging.

When first producing the book illustration for children, I began with a rough, linear layout. I tend to draw too many icons, so it was important for me to get the right balance of characters and props. Producing a rough drawing, really helped me prepare for the final illustration. Once happy at this stage, I then created the icons needed and assembled them in PhotoShop.


Book illustration for children

Rough linear layout drawing


Final colour book illustration for children


I’m really pleased with the final design. It’s busy, yet not cluttered and there’s a lot going on. Regarding colours, the hints of warm yellows and red work well with the shades of blues.

I’m currently working on another children’s illustration. This time with people!


Emma Jayne x



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