2. FULL SIZE SKETCHES: After I've worked out any design flaws in the thumbnail stage (as many as I notice), I begin drawing each scene full-scale. Some illustrators do a mid-size drawing, however, I put a lot of detail into my thumbnails so I can skip the mid-size stage. It's important you draw these to scale. Note that a standard vertical picture book is about 9 inches wide by 10 inches tall for each single page and a horizontal is just the opposite. A Square book is usually 9x9. So for a double page spread (the book laid open and the illustration filling both sides) the illustration needs to be 18 inches wide for the vertical books and 20 inches wide for the horizontal books. Just know that even after all this, a publisher still has the right to request a different page size. You just draw at your ideal for the story. If you want the picture to fill the whole page, bleeding off the edge, make sure to draw it a quarter inch beyond the border on all sides. At this point it's really fun to see all the work start to come together.

Here are a few examples of full size sketches...(if you go to the previous post, you can try to find the thumbnail it was drawn from).

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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at

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