How do we commission artwork?
We like to use a variety of illustration styles in our books so that they look fresh and different.
Having said that, we are very fortunate to have some freelance illustrators who have worked for us for many years. This makes it easier to commission artwork as they are already familiar with our expectations. For example, if we were asking a new illustrator to do a classroom scene, our brief would need to specify that we want an equal number of girls and boys, a good multi-ethnic mix of children, at least one child wearing glasses, the clothes the children and the teacher should be wearing, and even what style of handwriting should be on the wall displays and in the children’s books. It’s easy to forget to specify some little detail, so it’s great to work with illustrators who we know we can trust.
Therefore, I was delighted when Gaynor Berry agreed to do some of the new illustrations for the 3rd edition of Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension, as she is one of our favourite illustrators.
Even with illustrators we know well we need to make sure that our brief is clear.
For the illustration below our brief said:
We’d like the illustration to look like a postcard, showing a fictional seaside town called Dillweed Bay. It should show a beach scene with an old lighthouse in the distance. There should be some boats in the water. The beach should be sandy and have room to build sandcastles and play with a beach ball. There should be a boy with a snorkel. Some shells should be visible. The weather should be sunny.
First Gaynor produced the following rough pencil illustration, which we sent to the author for her approval:
As you can see, there is a note that the size of the boat needs to be reduced. Once we received approval from the author, and checked that the illustration will fit on the page OK, we gave Gaynor permission to go to final artwork which, in this case, was black and line art with grey tints.
And here is the final artwork!
Our preparations for the 3rd edition of Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension are coming along well and I look forward to telling you more about this series soon.
Our four-legged neighbours are back!
It’s nice to have sheep in the field behind our office again. The field can get rather boggy, so the farmer often moves them to higher ground during the winter months. When the sheep return we know that spring isn’t too far away.
With best wishes for next week!
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