How to Start Illustrating Children’s Books?

When was the last time you were attracted to a book and ended up buying it? If you can recall, it was the illustrations that made you make a move. Anyone who loves photography can tell you that pictures speak a lot. That is the same case with illustrations. They assist to bridge the cultural lifts to communicate an idea through writing. 

There so many reasons to use illustrations in children’s books. Apart from using them to tell a story, you can use illustrations in situations where there is data to visualize. If you want to start illustrating children’s books, this article is for you. Check out some of the ideas that will help you to have a good start.

Look at sources

Every time you are writing a book, make sure to check references. Your inspiration can come from anywhere. It could be from a nature walk, a wildlife report, illustrations from fellow illustrators, or films. Looking at sources doesn’t mean you are a poor illustrator but it gives you the motivation you need to carry on.

Work from other artists not only inspires you but it also gives you an idea of what to do in your illustration. They act as a guiding guide in their way. For instance, you can watch a movie that can help you create an illustration that will inspire kids who will read your book. There are several sources that you can use to get references. For example, you can use Pinterest to gather images so you can create a mood for every book you want to illustrate.

Plan the story

Before you start creating the illustration, you should plan your story. If you drew the inspiration from a movie, ensure you have the story in mind before you start creating the illustration. Plan what you want your illustration to appear like. Should inspire some feelings like excitement, anger or what? Do you want the children to see in your illustration? Plan the story before creating your illustration. 

Make the thumbnails

Most of the time, I recommend that you begin with a pencil and a sketchbook. When reading a story, try and create several character doddles Also, sketch some thumbnails. Some compositions can happen directly. You know the way they need to be. The creation of thumbnails can be difficult at times and may take time. But that doesn’t mean you should create a shady thumbnail.

Create roughs

After you create thumbnails and you are happy with them, make roughs. It will give you a feel of a completely. Be careful about the colors you use if you want to give you your book an attractive appearance. Remember you are creating illustrations for kids and not for adults. 


Illustrations are the best way to communicate when it comes to writing children’s books. Kids get fascinated by simple pictures and colors. While choosing colors can be a challenge, picking the right color is important. This can contribute greatly to the success of your book.