Thursday, August 2, 2018

Research and a Little More Planning!

Page 5

So a couple people on Facebook mentioned working visually. So I want to address that part of planning before we move on to research. First, though, here is a corrected version of the page. This is more how I would divide this story. I might make a few story corrections that I didn't before. If I get ideas I will draw them in the corners.

Two things moving forward:

1. You are free to correct me if you think I'm wrong on anything!

2. If going through the booklet backwards or jumping around is easier for you, then do that! Let me know, though. So I can get a better idea of how participants think.

I think things generally work out better for me if I write out the story first and the pictures come later. You may find that drawing the pictures are easier for you, that's not wrong.

I do have a story I'm working on that's completely in visuals. I've decided to add in text after and it's hard, but for the story I don't think I could have done it any other way.

I've uploaded a readable version of the booklet so if you need an extra sheet of anything it's probably easier to print from the reading version:

Page 6 

Research is pretty cut and dry, and yet it's one thing that a lot of people ask questions about. It's good to search for images on the internet, but you can't copy any of these images directly. Someone else took these images with their camera and it does not belong to you.

When I draw a person I usually need a lot of pictures to get their likeness. Often I have to combine several together!
So maybe I like the picture of my son standing here. ^
But maybe I prefer his hands like this. ^
 And his face is better like this! ^

Then of course I want his leg kicking off to the side, so I have to find a picture online of a kid kicking his leg off to the side. If I find the perfect picture, then it's fine because I'm using a part of the picture.

If I want to change my son's head to a different kids head (because, let's face it, not all the kids in my book can be my son). Then I can't just take another kid's head and put it on my picture. It's too identifiable that way. The best thing to do is take the eyes of one kid, maybe the nose of another, lips of a 3rd kid and so on until I come up with a look I like. This way I don't have to worry about copyright.

Scenes are the same way, you'd want to piece together a scene from several different scenes to create something that's original. If you are drawing a tree don't draw it exactly, use several different trees to make one final tree.

The background was taken from several different pictures of strawberry patches.
The bugs themselves also were from several references and a bit of imagination!

The best thing you can do is to take pictures of kids you know and have permission to photograph. If you can't do this it's okay to find things online. Pinterest is fantastic if you want to store all those images you researched in one handy area! There are many artists and writers alike that use this to save images and webpages for research purposes. You can even make these research boards visible only to you!

What did I miss? Please comment below and let me know!    


  1. Thank you for posting about how to get reference 'pieces' from the internet. Taking a nose here, an eyeball from another, and lips from another, help to make your character. But then wouldn't it be wise to take that new character you've just created and start drawing 3/4 view, back view, overhead view, etc. ? I had taken pictures of the little girl I'm using in my scenes. I think I'm a firm believer of having the story written first, as the change of a word or two could take the visual to a totally different angle/aspect. I'm still finding that I need to 'think bigger' or more expansively - outside the box, and then I come up with a totally different angle than the one I THOUGHT I was going to use. I'm still working on these aspects. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Yes! Next week we are going to get to developing the character. If you want to work ahead that's good. I think one of the most important things about this pre-event is getting your character down pat! Animation students draw the same character over and over and they end up being some of the best picture book artists!