Help. Thumbnails and composition

  • Here it is. I really am trying to develop this world. It is a candy based world. In my brain it shows a city, small towns/villages, mountains and forests, maybe even a farm.

    I am thinking this world will be the set up of the whole book, showing that there’s this whole big world to explore. I just can’t get it to a point where I am yes! That is what up I am thinking. I also want the picture to lead you into the book.

    I am really just looking for some. What if you tried this or that. Or do one of these seem to have it and I just don’t see it? This is wher I started and don’t love it.


    Then I have these


  • @Sara-Hickman

    So you want every page to open into this candy world, yes? What makes this world “candy”? Are there candy trees/land or are the characters mainly candy?

    I am though lost on the actual story. You have a candy land Enviroment start but I would play with your elements and really work out what story you want to tell within your world.

    I like the approach to your cover. You want your readers to explore your world, perhaps with your characters highlight one thing per one spread (2 pages- sorry if that’s not the right term) that kids could take away and explore their real world.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for sharing,

  • @Sara-Hickman Great idea and a good beginning on your thumbnails. When I think about your topic and look at your sketches I immediately want to reference Virginia Lee Burton’s Little House for reference. Burton relied heavily on a spiraling composition. It’s not very well known but before her death she was working in a book about design. Here are some basic composition patterns that she used in her illustrations and taught her students. These are patterns that can be used over and over again :


    And here is an example of only one of the spiraling compositions that she used in Little House - it’s the same composition but the storytelling changes.


    And I think she did an even better job with Robinhood:


    And my personal research has shown me that after Mary Blair worked on the animation of Little House she began to use some of Burton’s compositional techniques!

    Similar composition patterns can also be seen in the work of Grant Wood (painter of American Gothic:


    In fact I think his work would be great reference for you as well:


    What do you think about mapping out your world? maybe drawing out some large out large swaths of it in this spiraling way and then crop into different sections and play with how the spiral is shown in the composition?

  • @Heather-Boyd the story is going to take place in the candy based world. I am thinking just the opening spread with the title introducing this world made of candy. That the characters are going to take the reader along as they explore it. Like here is this amazing world ... let’s go explore it and one scene in the story would take place in one part of the world.

    Inspired by this room in willie wonka and the chocolate factory. FFE4BF98-2AE6-4F8A-BFBC-AE9C020C4EFF.jpeg

  • @Amber-Lynn-Benton thank you! Gives me a great way to explore a different avenue.

  • Please excuse our legs and feet!


    I like this composition. I think it needs more. There is a lot of white space. Then again, it will be on a smaller final size. Thoughts?

    I am thinking about developing the areas more digitally. Then putting it together.

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