The first phase of laying out the pages of the book involve pen and ink sketches of the individual spreads. Early sketches are quite rough and only act as placeholders for ideas to be refined later. There are many reiterations before the illustrations are resolved.
This storyboard was done for the Blue Bottle Mystery book. The sequence of the story did not change much, but the detail was transferred and color was added for the later versions. (see final color storyboard below)
Video of Robbi painting a watercolor for book
This is a time-lapse video showing the painting of one of the color illustration spreads in the book.
After the initial sketches, the drawings are transferred to the watercolor paper in pen and ink. The next step is to paint the composition in watercolors.
When the painting is completed, it is scanned on a flatbed scanner to get the artwork into a digital format for the book layout. Alternately some of the spreads were drawn and colored digitally on the ipad in Procreate.
The book cover artwork is designed after the inside page designs are completed. All the spreads and the cover are brought together in Indesign, and then uploaded for the output to publish.
Final color storyboard
This is how the final layout of the book looked after many versions were created. Each spread was first inked and then colored either digitally in Procreate or hand-painted with traditional watercolor on board.
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