This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Full-size sketches, week 2

So, how are the full-size sketches for your picture book dummy coming?

As you deal start dealing seriously with composition and layout, one of your first concerns, and one that you may not have considered before now, will be to place your main character(s) within an environment.

Many of us, I suspect, treat background as an afterthought, but it should (as my esteemed colleague Wendy keeps reminding me) be given the same status as your secondary characters. After all, the backgound has a pretty large role to play in your story. It establishes setting (obviously), and also mood. Your backgrounds help focus attention where you need it to be within a scene; they "ground" your characters within a specific time and place, help define the action of a sequence--and, no small feat, carry a lot of the detail that you therefore will not have to include in the text. This is critical for a picture book.

So let's give backgrounds and setting a little love.

Join us at #kidlitart on Thursday, March 17, 9 pm Eastern DAYLIGHT time, to discuss problems and solutions for conquering backgrounds.


  1. Found out about this on twitter just minutes ago. Great Idea. I'm half a world away but just wanted to give you guys kudos for bringing illustrators together via new media.

  2. Thanks, macky, and welcome to #kidlitart!

    Hope you'll be able to join us at one of the chats (every Thursday at 9 pm Eastern US time--which should be 9 am Friday mornings for you, correct?).