Saturday, September 3, 2016

Illo Experiment for Hidy-Bye Boy

A loooooong while back I wrote a bitty story, Hidy-Bye Boy and made a “dummy” for it. In this case, i.e. children's picture book illustration a “dummy” refers to a practice or mock up of a book idea. It includes the text of the story, laid out in sequence and rough illustrations showing what you have in mind. Especially when an illustrator “writes” a book, quite often a LOT of the story will be told using the pictures......with the words providing key directions. So's a mock up of how the author/illustrator plans on telling the story is crucial in letting a publisher know the author/illustrator's vision for the picture book.

This pencil sketch is the first incarnation of page one of the story's text: “Hidy-Bye Boy loved to play hide and seek. He would hide when it was time to......” It shows the main character, Hidy-Bye boy playing hide and seek with his little sister counting down to go and find him.

At the time I was working on this dummy I was going thru a Photoshop phase, and I decided to “sketch” the dummy page using outlines and “fill” in Photoshop to show what was going on.

It had the advantage of being clear about what was going on in the sketch. But I also lost some of the charm of the pencil sketch. So recently, I took up this project again. 

 I've been doing a lot of classical painting of people, landscapes and wildlife. In this painting spree, I've “remembered” or revisited a lot of really nice planning techniques. One of which is to split your painting into only light,medium,dark sections to see if you have the focus on the main point of your composition. So that technique resulted in this little sketch being done again, this time in three gradients of black and white.

So now I had a clue as to a value map for my illustration. I then decided on my colors and matched the light, medium and dark values (and intensity) of the different colors I wanted to use with my black and white color map. You can see the result at the top of the post.


  1. I love it. You are giving this non artist a glimpse into your world. Did you finish the book? I know a few great recipients.

    1. Hi Diane. Thanks so much for your kind words. I have finished writing the book, but I'm still in the process.....a loooooong process.....of submitting it to publishers. I'll certainly let you and maybe a few hundred of my "closest friends" know if I'm lucky enough to get published!(grin)