Illustrating Children s Books (and beyond ) – Marco Bucci

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Looking to tailor your artwork to the children’s book market? Marco will take you through every skill and step you need to take, using examples from real-life, published projects. He’ll also create artwork from beginning to end, demonstrating how he starts with an author’s manuscript and goes through the many stages of producing illustrations for the final, published book. Along the way there will be many insights as to how to make your work stand out, not only for the children’s book industry … but beyond!

The class is structured into three chapters, as follows:

– Referencing examples from actual modern day professional projects from the artist
– Understanding how to work with a publisher’s manuscript, formatting and margins
– Understanding how kids interact with illustration
– Art for different age groups
– Tips on sketching out options for clients and publishers
– Visual storytelling in the medium of children’s books
– Composing a page for the most appeal
– Rough sketches/blocking examples
– Understanding the print jargon involved in the publishing industry

– What elements makes a character feel unique?
– Character posing and gesture drawing fundamentals
– Fundamentals of form and how to make your work look dimensional
– Fundamentals of shape and design
– Facial expressions
– Examples from actual assignments

– My model of understanding color temperature: warm vs. cool color relationships
– The fundamentals of rendering light and shadow I use in every painting I do
– Breaking down local color, and how light and shadow plays into it
– Using freehand perspective for stylized (but believable) depth
– Organic perspective for outdoor, nature scenes
– Controlling value for clear, readable paintings
– Using the digital environment to produce final artwork
– Painting a character
– Painting rough color passes of a scene to search for moods and ideas and present options to a client
– Using layers, brushes, effects, and more
– Painting a final, print-ready illustration
– Formatting with bleeds, correct DPI and resolution
– CMYK conversion tips

ALSO: Two bonus interviews!
– A multi-time published children’s book author
– A professional, active children’s book art director

Marco has illustrated children’s books for companies big and small: Walt Disney Publishing, Sleeping Bear Press, Harper Collins, and more. His experience in the industry ranges from primary readers to various grade levels. This gives him a wide perspective from which to teach this class, and he focuses on the principles and tools that are an indispensable part of the job.

Please note: This is not a software tutorial from the ground up. It will assume some basic familiarity with the digital painting environment. Adobe Photoshop CC is used in this lesson, but the ideas and approaches are applicable to any digital painting application (most of the information presented also applicable to traditional media!)

Approx. 8 hours of video


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