Illustration layout feedback!

  • I’m working on my first children’s book and am having a little bit of trouble with Laying out my characters positions. The story involves a lot of characters and the author wants most of them present in almost all of the illustrations. Any tips or suggestions for placing a lot of characters without creating an overcrowded feeling illustration? Below is the illustration I am currently working, any feedback would be really helpful!

  • Pro SVS OG

    When you have many characters, you can treat them at some level like they were objects and follow the suggestions that have been highlighted for the “Draw 50 Things” challenge (and in the accompanying course). You can vary the spacing of the characters, make them of different sizes in the composition and use overlap to vary the layout and make the compositions more dynamic and diverse. Viewpoint is also your ally (different viewpoints create very different feelings) as well as all the tricks that photographers use to make composition more interesting (like depth of field and framing, just to mention two of the most used/abused ones). If the book should keep a “young and simple” look, you can still group the characters in clusters to vary the composition and make one character the prominent focus, if the story allows.
    Multiple characters also require to pay attention to expression and body language of each and they are the most time-consuming illustrations - you may want to convince the author that using some closeups brings variation and interest in the book (which is true), and make your work a bit easier.

  • @smceccarelli I haven’t done the ‘Draw 50 Things’ course yet so I’ll have to check it out. Lots of things to experiment with, thanks for the advice!