I’m delighted and honored to have the illustrator for my newest picture book LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) here today to share the creative process behind her delightful illustrations. It’s not often you get to see the process explained and shown with such detail. It’s fascinating! Take it away, Lison Chaperon and… merci! Enjoy!
Bonjour Laura! I’m so happy to have been chosen to illustrate your wonderful story. It was such a joy to illustrate! Your story and characters were a great source of inspiration. I’m pleased to share my creative process with you and the readers of your blog.
When I received the manuscript, the first thing I did was to read it several times and determined the page breaks. The story is an adventure for Little Owl and for the readers so it was important to create surprise effects from one page to another.
Then, I worked on the character designs. I tried several techniques (ink, felt pens, pencils, watercolor…) before finding the right combination to render Little Owl’s feathers: watercolor and color pencils.
Once the look of the characters was determined, the amazing editorial team needed the cover. So I looked for cover ideas. The image had to be eye-catching, sweet and it had to capture the book message. Below are my proposals:
Here is the sketch chosen by the team and the final art:
Then I started the sketches. This is my favorite part! I love finding ideas, working on compositions, thinking about little details… I first storyboarded the whole story, trying different compositions through very rough tiny sketches.
When I determined what worked best, I did more detailed sketches at full-scale with text.
I also did colored roughs to give me a first idea of the colors.
Once all the sketches were approved by the team, I went on to the final art.
I reported the final drawings on watercolor paper (scale 110%). I wanted delicate and refined colors with a lot of nuances to express the atmosphere, the message of the story, and Little Owl’s feelings. So, before starting to paint the final art, I did several tests with the watercolor and the color pencils to find the right balance. And here is the outcome:
Thank you, Lison, for sharing your process with us. I continually marvel at all that goes into illustrating a picture book and I feel so blessed that you were chosen to illustrate LOVE IS KIND! The Zonderkidz team had great vision. I’m thrilled that my words get to share page space with your wonderful illustrations.
Happy reading, all!