Illustration Brings Life to a Children’s Book


Children’s illustration is not limited to a number of techniques, and any one of them is equally appropriate for doing a good job. The only limitation is the preference of the illustrator.

Although, it is true that certain techniques are more common and are usually seen in children book illustration. For example, watercolors and pictures are very popular. But we can also find collage, acrylic, pastel and digital techniques.

Perhaps, the most relevant point in this section is the drawing. Normally we associate the children’s illustration with a simple and unrealistic drawing. The representation of the elements in this type of illustration rarely tries to imitate reality in an objective way, and the execution of them reminds the works of living legend painters like Marc Chagall.

In fact, it seems that children’s illustration has a certain resemblance to the way children draw. And it makes some sense.

The goal of the children’s illustrator is to represent reality in a way that attracts the child’s attention and fully engages him in the story he tells. It makes no sense to simply represent reality as we see it, as it can be boring. It is more interesting to deform and disfigure the ways to reinforce ideas and evoke emotions.

Including colors is essential, it always accompanies the intention of the story. The colors will be bright if we are dealing with cheerful themes, and use muted colors if we treat sad themes. There are many ways to use color and each artist has their preferences, but we must always consider it as one of the main elements.

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Objectives of Children’s Illustration

Although, it was not considered a highly respected activity within our society in the past. But, in recent years this activity is gaining the recognition that it deserves.

The illustrated books play a very essential role in the children’s development process along with their functions and objectives that we can find the following:

  • Concepts would be difficult to understand, that’s why they help the child understand the world and the surrounding society in a simple way.
  • Illustration teaches how to deal with emotions and common problems that may rise at an early age.
  • Present values and moral lessons that influence the child’s behavior.
  • It develop the imagination and promote the taste for reading.

As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, great power entails great responsibility. The children’s illustrator has the tools to influence generations in his hands, so it is not surprising that this discipline is increasingly successful and recognized and the level of children’s illustrators is growing.

How to be a children book illustrator?

In the same way that there is no concrete path when it comes to becoming an artist, there is also no answer that answers this question completely satisfactorily.

Children book illustration, like any other artistic discipline requires a good taste for composition, color and a certain artistic sense in general. But, it is not excessively demanding with other technical skills.

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We do not need to know how to draw academically, nor do we need to paint like the great masters of painting. Although these skills can help us with homework, they can also bound us.

If we are used to representing reality in a realistic way through our painting, it can be difficult for us to adapt to a more appropriate style for children.

It reminds me of the path followed by Pablo Picasso, who being a figurative painter, capable of painting with a very good technique, had to unlearn everything he learned until he reached Cubism. In a sense, the work of the children’s illustrator may be to go the same way as Picasso.

It is very useful for the illustrator who intends to draw for children, to have certain knowledge about child psychology. There are numerous courses in children’s illustration in which these types of subjects are treated while teaching some techniques and procedures used by other illustrators. In addition, there are books dedicated to this issue that can be of great help in understanding the way children think and relate concepts.

In the end, everything is about connecting with the most sincere and innocent part of ourselves. In this way, we can create illustrations that have strength and connect with children.

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