View Full Version : Sample from children's book

May 10th, 2011, 11:59 PM
I've been working on a children's book and doing the artwork myself, in Paint. Here is a sample page from the story.


Candra H
May 11th, 2011, 04:20 PM
It's really cute. I like the big eyes on the teacher and the general scruffiness to it. Gives it an endearing quality that really works for me as a children's illustration.

It looks a bit pixely though. Not sure if it's my screen settings or the result of a low dpi resolution on your end, but I found it difficult to read the plaque on the wall and the edges of things are a bit wonky because of it.

May 11th, 2011, 11:51 PM
Thanks Candra, scruffy is exactly what I was going for. Yes, this is still a work in progress and I'm trying to smooth out those edges, the larger you make the picture, the worse they become. I'm new to Paint and find it frustrating in some ways, I don't have the control that I would like to have. :) Thanks again.

Candra H
May 12th, 2011, 08:20 PM
Cool. Good luck with it. I know what you mean about control with digital art. I'm on a steep learning curve about that myself and sometimes wonder how the **** these pro digital artists do it!

A trick about the pixely edges of things might be to set the initial image/page thing to something like 800x600. That way it fits in your screen size but allows you to go in a bit closer and get better detail. People talk about 300-600 dpi settings but I don't know if you need to go so big. Maybe 150 would do it?

No idea if any of that makes any sense, just thought I'd mention it in case it helps.

May 13th, 2011, 04:53 AM
Thanks for that, Candra. :) I'm going back over all of the pictures and zooming in, then reworking or smoothing things, then going back to the original settings. Things do look better afterwards. :)

May 15th, 2011, 06:37 PM
Another sample from the story. The first one is before going in and cleaning up the details at pixel level. The second one is after cleaning up. Can you see a noticable difference between the two?


Candra H
May 15th, 2011, 07:54 PM
Hmm, I like Monkey Shoes Sample better. I know it's not as crisp but the edges of things are smoother than the cleaned up version because the lines are softer. In the crisp version the low pixel/resolution shows up on the edges of everything in a kind of stepped and jagged line.

Can I ask what resolution/dpi/file size you're using? I noticed in the properties, it's only 39 KB which is pretty small, and I'm wondering if thats where you're losing the clarity. If I create/save a file, even if it's only 150 dpi and say 600x400, it's usually up in the hundreds KBs.

I know I probably sound like a pernickety pain in the beehind but I think if you can get the file size/dpi right before you start creating the image, it'll get rid of those pixely issues and allow you to zoom in to a decent amount of detail and not lose resolution while you're working.

All that said, it's a cool picture. I love those monkeys, they're cute.

May 15th, 2011, 09:57 PM
When I check the properties for the cleaned up version, it says 87.4 KB 120 dpi and 817X460. I used the default setting for Paint, never changed anything. Of course, it's not the pro paint. I can't see the jagged edges on my computer unless I blow up the resolution. Hmmm, now I'm going to have to investigate what is going on here, showing my inexperience in using this program, for sure. :)

Candra H
May 15th, 2011, 10:13 PM
Hmm, thats strange. Maybe it's my screen settings. I duuno. If you're happy with how it looks, don't mind me. I'm probably staring too closely at it now anyway, and seeing things that arent there.

P.S. I hear you about finding new programs difficult. If it's Corel Painter your using, I've no experience with it at all. A tiny bit of mucking about with Photoshop years ago and recently, just open source programs like GIMP and now Mypaint. It's a case if figuring it out as I go and hoping for the best.

May 15th, 2011, 11:54 PM
LOL! Well it's a mystery to me, too. Though I wouldn't be surprised to find out I'm doing something wrong, I'm not well versed in this program, or any digital drawing. Maybe someone will come along and shed some light here. Thank you anyways, Candra, I appreciate your input, always. :)

June 3rd, 2011, 10:54 AM
You said you were doing these in Paint?! That blows my mind! I'd die without Illustrator and Photoshop personally, but I guess that's just my style. I find them adorable, by the way. Very children-book-esque.

Personally I like to use the Bamboo Tablet, but it's a little pricey if you're on a budget. It took me 6 months to save up for it, but it was worth it for me.

Here's an example of one of my pieces done with the tablet in Illustrator: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-svuJbstr_Nw/TdyAXpgR0vI/AAAAAAAAADs/w1g2ZsgElJI/s1600/Hug.jpg

Keep up the good work!

June 3rd, 2011, 10:55 AM
Sorry I didn't know that would be so large. I hope no one's computer freezes. My old one might have with an image that big :(

June 3rd, 2011, 04:05 PM
Darn it! I can't see your picture. It's not showing up at all for me. Maybe later it will.

I've just installed Adobe Photoshop and have been trying to learn how to use the canvas to create illustrations. No luck, yet, it's a lot more complicated than my little Paint. :) I can't link my ebooks to Createspace for printing as the Paint images don't have a high enough Dpi. It says you need at least 300 and Paint only gives you 120.
Do you illustrate in PS? And if so, was it very difficult to learn? Thanks.

June 4th, 2011, 01:50 AM
Adobe Photoshop is spectacular. I lucked out and in high school I was required to take a computer class, which covered Photoshop for six weeks. That's where I learned most of what I know now. I would recommend purchasing a book on Photoshop techniques or finding YouTube videos (which are free :)!). I do most of the actual illustrations in Illustrator and then go back to Photoshop for color and enhancements.

I hope that helps! Actually, if you check out my blog I'd be happy to post exact instructions of what I do (but I probably can't post until tomorrow). Maybe that will help too?

Good luck! (My blog information is below).

June 6th, 2011, 05:33 PM
I used photoshop for three years, it's an amazing tool. It is, however much more complicated that paint, but very much worth learning.

For drawing I recommend learning how to use brushes and the pen tool. You can draw curves with amazing precision and stroke them in so many ways it's scary. Photoshop also does anti-aliasing (smoothing) by default so you don't need to worry about pixelation too much. Layers allow you to create things, move them around and put them on top of each other, and there is also history that helps you revert things up to a thousand steps back! (you need to alter the settings though)

I do admit, however, that illustrator is much more suited for drawing, but in that case I'd use corel draw (Illustrator looks similar to photoshop, but it's way too different, and that kind of throws me off)

If you need help with anything in particular, feel free to send me a pm. I can most likely help you if it's photoshop. =]

June 6th, 2011, 09:59 PM
Thank you both for your very generous offers of help, I may need to ask you a few questions at that. Right now I'm reading online tutorials and just experimenting around wit it. You are both so very kind to offer help, that's what I love about this forum. :)

June 13th, 2011, 07:57 AM
I didn't know you were artsing around Gumby :)

If I can help in any way, don't hesitate. I've been using Painter and Photoshop for years, happy to lend a hand.



June 13th, 2011, 03:31 PM
Thank you, Syren. :) I very much appreciate your offer!

June 13th, 2011, 04:43 PM

I think the idea behind your pictures is great. They are very cute. I can imagine a child looking at them and loving them. The graphics could use some work though. Many of the lines and shapes, such as the rugs and eyes, are easily discernable as simple designs in a paint program. Stretch an oval, fill it with color, and you have the rug.

Have you hand-drawn the pictures first? If so, one thing that might help is to scan your pictures and use your hand-drawn picture in conjunction with a graphics program. That will allow you to make much more natural lines and shapes.

Also, I don't know if you intend these illustrations simply for personal use or for publication. It's extremely uncommon for a publisher to accept illustrations from people who aren't professional illustrators. If you have a child's story that you're hoping to have published, you'd probably be best off submitting it without the illustrations. Of course, if they're just for a book that you're creating for your own enjoyment, it's a really fun project.

Either way, best of luck to you!


June 13th, 2011, 07:05 PM
Hi Naddia,

Thank you for commenting on this and I appreciate your suggestions. :)

These are stories that I am doing firstly for my grandchildren. I've self published them just for the fun of it and you're correct, I'm enjoying the whole process. :) The graphics are very simple and I did not hand draw them first. I kind of like the primative feel they have and I can't imagine a child caring that they're easily discernable as a graphics program, only adults seem to have a problem with that. I have looked at children's books in the stores and they cover a wide range of the illustrative spectrum. Some are very beautifully done with wonderful detail, others look like a child drew them. I think that were I trying to get a real publishing house interested I would have done as you said, submitted the stories without illustrations, as that is what I've read that they prefer.

Maybe in the future I will go down that road, but for now I'm simply enjoying the fun of doing this and experimenting with learning how to use the more advanced photoshop program. It's certainly not a simple process to learn! I'm going to have to buy a few books on using the program, though I appreciate all the offers of help, I could not impose on anyone here, save for maybe a question here and there.