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How The Book Was Illustrated

by Mark Teague

Step 1

“When I’m ready to start illustrating a story, the first thing I do is get out my sketch book and play around. I let my subconscious mind take off and see where it goes.”

“Characters almost create themselves. I don’t have anyone in mind; I just try to let my imagination have a free reign.”

“Then, after doing numerous rough sketches of how I think the pages in the book will look, it’s time to start the Final Line Drawings.”

Step 2

“I use a pencil for drawing and a huge eraser for erasing until I get it right.”

“Then I brush the drawing with gesso and matte medium. I can see through the layer because the paint is transparent. The gesso brush strokes show through in the final art, giving it a texture I like. The next step is getting out the paint!”

Step 3

“Using burnt sienna (a reddish brown) as an undercoat, I paint the sketch in. Then I mix ultramarine blue and cadmium red to get a nice gray. At this stage, I lay in the shadows.”

“Once I’ve got the dark values down, I put in the highlights using white. Now I’m ready to bring in the color.”

Step 4

“I bring out my full palette here — and work in the colors. The final illustration emerges.”

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