Illustrating Children's books assignments

  • When working on the assignments from the Course 'Illustrating Children's books', you can post your sketches and scribbles here. It helps to motivate each other and you can ask for critique tips and tricks. Lets share the fun!

  • Thanks Leontine. πŸ™‚ I also thought it might be helpful to establish some basic guidelines:

    THREAD GOAL: Post one assignment per week. If you want to post more, awesome! Don't worry if you have to skip a week here and there, since everyone is working at their own pace.

    CRITIQUES: Keep in mind that there are varying skill levels here (from student to professional). If you're unsure how to structure feedback, I suggest you mention one or two successful aspects of an assignment, and one or two areas that could be improved--any more than that and it can get overwhelming. Even if you are a student, like me, don't be shy to try your hand at critiquing. You only get better with observation and practice. πŸ™‚

    Okay, so here's my first assignment:


    I had the most trouble visualizing how the arm and paw shapes worked, but I made progress! I also struggled with simplifying the feet. Anyone have suggestions for feet?

    I've chosen to work in digital through this class, which is a medium I'm not super comfortable with yet. That may end up being a mistake, but we'll see. xD

    I look forward to seeing how the rest of you approached this assignment. πŸ™‚

  • Well done, I love your cute sketches. The only thing that popped out for me was the squirrels feet do seem they you someones hands crawling out from under it. Others well done.

  • Hi @K.W. great start! Very cute face on your little guy and I like the twigs he's holding.

    I think your anatomy (other than the arms) is best on your top smaller black inked one. The bigger bottom one looks like he's wearing a dress with feet coming out from under it. I also like the tail better in the smaller black inked one.

    The larger inked one the arms look good, except I'd bring the elbow in a bit and make it less hulking bicep looking (looks a bit large). As for simplifying the feet, I think the direction you were taking with the light top left light one is good - more of an overall shape to the foot, then just slits for between the toes (less defined). You have most of the elements down, but they just need to be combined!

    I'll have to get on my assignment too πŸ™‚

  • Hey, I hope it is okay to join the assignment group. Here is my first attempt.

  • Sorry my "hatching" is so bad.

  • @Thrace-Shirley-Mears He's so cute! I like his big eyes and overall friendly vibe πŸ™‚ He's very happy about his nut!

    Two things I'd suggest: his arms seem way too long and also I think it would help to show a bit of a jagged outer line here and there to imply fur instead of solid smooth curves the whole way around.

  • Hi all,

    Here's my first two exercises... in both I started out following the assignment and once I felt I fulfilled the instructions in the first couple of sketches I couldn't help myself but move on to more stylized versions (even though it was beyond scope of the assignment). I just had too much fun!

    Kindly offer any feedback you may have, thanks!

  • Thanks for your kind words and advice! I love your drawings. I am going to do assignment #2 tomorrow, but I don't think I will tackle the fox. Nice work!!

  • Thanks @Thrace-Shirley-Mears! Good luck and have fun with assignment 2 today πŸ™‚

  • Here are my first exercises.
    Since I joined SVS I draw everyday. I'm so grateful for the inspiration, help and good vibes from this community. Thanks a lot to all of you! πŸ™‚

    ICB MANUAL-5.jpg ICB MANUAL-3.jpg

  • @Fabienne Wow!! These are amazing! Your characters have so much personality. You can certainly tell that you draw every day. I have just started drawing myself and I hope to reach your level someday.

  • wow Really good going.

  • Hola guys!
    My first assignment! :p Squirrel got nuts, hehe

    ICB1-Simplified character.jpg

  • @Steve-Young Ah you're so right! They do look like human hands. xD I looked at more squirrel feet reference, and did a bit of study on them. Thank you. πŸ™‚

    @DanetteDraws Your critique was really helpful, thanks! πŸ™‚ I defined his legs and knees a little more, and used slits for toes. I'm much happier with it!


    @Thrace-Shirley-Mears Welcome to the group! πŸ˜ƒ And adorable squirrel. I'm going to include some things for you in the below critique as well, with a draw over.

    @DanetteDraws Nice experimentation with proportions! That little squirrel on the bottom right corner is so cute haha.

    I think it might help you and @Thrace-Shirley-Mears to work on drawing "through" your organic shapes (using cross contour lines and ellipses), to give a better sense of form. Also, including a center line makes it easier to accurately place limbs and other symmetrical features.

    Since you both are working traditionally with a pencil, you could try using a light pencil or coloured pencil crayon (I use blue usually), to do the 3D rough drawing, and then ink the final lines with a pen (ballpoint or felt tip, doesn't matter) or a darker pencil. Here's a quick draw over to show you what I mean:


    I think the ear on your squirrel, Thrace, is actually pretty good. I thought you had it turned towards us, which it wouldn't be, but now that i look at your drawing again it is turned away I think. Oops. xD Just remember that the center line can be used to compare placement of these things.

    Danette, in some of your fox drawings the paws were a little off in length/placement--a perspective issue. Most of them were pretty good though! I love the little outfit on the two-legged fox.

    @Fabienne I enjoyed your use of expressions and body language on both assignments! Very entertaining. πŸ™‚ To my inexperienced eye, it looks like you're taking the right approach. Only nitpick I can see at the moment, is that the mouse with the skewer of veggies and cheese, might have his fist hand facing a bit more towards the viewer, since the skewer appears to be pointing our way.

    @Karim-Benyagoub Pretty eye! And I like the way you did the legs and feet as well. My suggestion to you would basically be the same as to Danette and Thrace above--don't forget to put in a center line. πŸ™‚

  • @K.-W. thank you steve ^^
    You used some cutey eye too :p for the center line I don't remember if I used it this time or not, but too late since I deleted all reference lines hehe, but I reassure you, I use it in general ^^ thanks for the feedback and suggestions, I'll need to practice my critique skills too, yet it's scary because my own technique is quite rusty for now haha :p

  • @Fabienne Hi Fabienne, I really like them all, especially the mice! Mouse nr 3 is the naugty one i love him! well done!

  • leontine gaasenbeek cb 2-2.jpg leontine gaasenbeek cb 2-1.jpg leontine gaasenbeek cb 1-1.jpg Here are my first two assignments. Its so much fun working together with you all!

  • @Thrace-Shirley-Mears The squirrel is really nice, Cant wait to see your fox!

  • @Thrace-Shirley-Mears Woah, thank you for the kind words. blush But my daily routine hasn't been like this ever since:
    In the past years I have struggled many times with me and my path as an artist (Do I make fine art, children's books, are my skills too bad?). I had the feeling that I doesn't belong anywhere… After I quit my fine art studies and work as a seller to pay my bills I had no time to draw. No drawing - no fresh portfolio. No portfolio - no success as an artist. In the past months I realized I had to do something to get out of this vicious circle. So I became a self-employed illustrator, quit my job and work hard for commissions and my portfolio.
    So don't let anyone or anything distract you from your way! Hard work always pays off. πŸ™‚

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