Mira, Mark Mitchell, Traci Van Wagoner and I got together for a Smart Dummies hangout last week. If you missed the webinar then check out the replay here: http://howtobeachildrensbookillustrator.com/Smarter-dummies Mira was so lovely to talk to and I am so lucky that she was able to attend.
Today Mira is giving some great tips for dummy composition complete with a worksheet so that you can have your dummy in order!
Be sure to check the bottom of this post for a wonderful prize from Mira!
Seven Cool Composition Secrets for Your Dummy
Hi everyone, I’m excited to be sharing seven tips about composition for your dummy. First of all, lay out all of your spreads either on the floor or a wall (if they’re digital, print them out) before assembling, then look for these:
1. Is there variety from spread to spread to keep it surprising and exciting? Do you play with point of view and perspective—far away to give us a sense of place, close up to care about your characters. Moving the “camera” from above to below to front-on to side view? Are some compositions busy and others sparse and simple?
2. Do a bunch of the images face right to guide the viewer to turn the page? Can you have a visual through line like a landscape line that flows from page to page?
3. Have you made sure that nothing important like a face, a hand, a figure, text etc. is close to the gutter where it will get distorted and part of it will get lost? The same thing goes for having anything important close to the edges of the page.
4. Have you played with dramatic tension and visual pacing by starting small and getting bigger as the child turns the pages like Maurice Sendak famously does this in Where the Wild Things Are? What about using color for pacing like Brian Selznik does in When Marian Sang?
5. Do you have exciting underlying shapes in your compositions like diagonals, spirals, triangles, etc. A square composition with primarily straight horizontals and verticals is the most static and least exciting composition. Drawing over a Leonardo DaVinci print to trace those forms is a great way to learn about this.
6. Is your type/font complimentary to your images with plenty of space around it and large enough for young eyes? Make sure it’s not too frilly or busy and that it’s at least 1” from the edges of the page and 1.5” from the gutter. You can sometimes get away with 0.75” from the page edges but the more space you can have around your text the better.
7. Is your dummy quiet, moody, or reflective or is it exciting, funny, or dramatic? Choose whichever of there is the most appropriate to make sure you have plenty of the important element of contrast before completing your dummy—near & far, light & dark, big & small, soft & hard, organic & geometric shapes. See what other kinds of visual contrast you can think of.
Remember you only get one chance to make a great first impression. So even if you’re tired from all the work you’ve done to get to the dummy stage, it’s worth it to make your dummy the very best it can be!
|Here is a worksheet to help you get started!|
Mira Reisberg is an award-winning children’s book creative, a former kidlit university professor and a former literary agent. She is also the Director of the Children’s Book Academy and has taught many now highly successful authors and illustrators. Visit her at childrensbookacademy.com or sign up here http://bit.ly/CBA-Tribe-SignUp to receive awesome goodies and special offers starting with a Fab Free deeper than most plotting worksheet called the “Make It Great Plot Template.” Wahoo!!!
One lucky person will win their choice of a free class. You have the choice of Fun with Photoshop for Kids or The Hero's Art Journey!
In order to win this prize you must:
1. Comment below
2. Share this post on social media.
Please comment with why you want to win the class. When you share, please let Mira know what you liked best about her post! Winner will be drawn from those who finish their dummy this month!
Get your doodle on! Do a bunch of loose drawings today and think about what you are going to work on tomorrow. Be sure to have your story DONE! If you are struggling with story check out this post!