Storyboard Needed?



  • I am starting to illustrate a children’s book- Would it be more cohesive to storyboard first? We have a basic visual tie in to each page already. We have basic character, color pallet, and structure how to move from one area of the story to the other. Thoughts?



  • @Cathlynd

    Storyboards and compositional sketches can help lay out what the children's book is going to end up looking like.

    Is this just for you or the client, an agent? Who is this meant to benefit in the process of making the book?



  • @Michael-Angelo-Go Thanks for taking the time. It’s for me mostly. The author is thrilled with everything I am sending but I am fearful I might end up with a ‘disjointed’ story somehow. So far, the book looks like it’s coming along just fine.



  • @Cathlynd

    Yeah I think you can make the pages altogether look more cohesive if you make a storyboard for all the pages. You should post them here on a separate thread and ask the people of the SVS community their overall opinion of the pages.



  • Thanks. I wish I could post them here. I had to agree not to share them with anyone prior to publishing. I think criticism would improve the images. Thanks for the feedback.



  • @Cathlynd YES, storyboarding is extremely helpful in illustrating a children’s book. I’d even go so far as to say essential.

    Not only does it help avoid repetition, which you mentioned, it helps plan out action, flow, camera angles, POV, values, and more.

    The first few books I did for self-published clients, I jumped right in and started illustrating. Mistake. The books turned out okay, but they could’ve been WAY better. Granted, the budget was low and timeline tight, but I learned my lesson and now plan a “preliminary” stage into every project where time is set aside for the essential character development, planning, storyboarding, and test illustrations.

    Now, I storyboard every book. The sketches are loose and rough, but I put in value and make sure the composition works at a thumbnail level. Show it to my client, get feedback from them, and revise. The revised and approved storyboard is my guide for the entire book. I actually digitally cut and paste thumbnails from the storyboard and draw over those to create my initial illustration sketches. Even if I’m going to render the illustrations traditionally, I start out with rough digital sketches taken from storyboard thumbnails. Not only has it helped streamline my process, it’s also been a game changer for me, planning and composition-wise.

    Every illustrator works differently; this is what I’ve found that works for me. But most illustrators I know of start by storyboarding.



  • @Cathlynd I also always storyboard first, I start with really small thumbnail sketches to make the story board, and then I do roughs for the whole book after that. It helps me figure out variety for camera angles and the pacing of the story



  • Hi @Cathlynd, definitely storyboard the whole book and add rough values to highlight contrast and focal points.


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