Picture Book Baby

Rabbit - runI must apologise. I’ve been neglecting this blog horrendously. But that’s because I’m a new mother … of a picture book baby.

As mentioned previously, I’m currently taking a break between novel drafts to focus on a picture book project. She started off small and pink, wailing for attention, and once I gave her some she demanded it all. Over the last month or so she has grown in fits and starts, and is slowly blossoming into all I know she can be. At times it’s been joyous. Other times painful. But so worth it in the end.

In many ways, illustrating can be tricky. One illustration may take an entire day, and even then it may not be working the way I hoped.  After spending so many hours of focussed attention on one image it’s easy to get too close, making it impossible to pinpoint what isn’t working. Each time this happens I have to remind myself to go through the following steps:

  1. Get a non-illustrators opinion: their unbiased eye is often the best at spotting problems (my fiance is an absolute star at this)
  2. Get an illustrators opinion: it’s easier to talk craft with other illustrators
  3. Try illustrating the scene from a different perspective: this can make a flat scene more dynamic
  4. Jot down a series of words about the scene, focussing on character motivation and emotion: it helps to pinpoint exactly what the image should be capturing
  5. Go back to the drawing board: get away from the scene, pull out fresh paper and start playing

Just today I finished assembling all the text and images – there are only a few fiddly things left to do before it’s ready to be sent off into the submissions ether. Below are a couple of scenes I’ve been working on over the last week, using watercolour, collage and digital art.

2009-05-27

2009-05-27a

2009-05-27b

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11 Responses to “Picture Book Baby”


  1. 2 chrisbongers May 27, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    That’s just so gorgeous, Katherine. You are one talented person. :)

  2. 3 joy May 27, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    wow, love the images you shared! Can’t wait to hear how the submission process goes!

  3. 4 Karen Tyrrell May 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Katherine your talent amazes me! I LOVE your illustrations. Can’t wait for the rest. Good luck!

  4. 5 Angela Sunde May 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I love the dropping fruit. Must be my childhood :)
    Can’t wait to see this finished. It has a European feel to the style. You are inspiring.

  5. 6 Sandy May 27, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    A rabbit has stolen my heart. I love him!

  6. 7 Katherine Battersby May 28, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Thanks for all the encouragement! Squish has been with me my entire writing journey, so I’m so excited to finally give him his own story

  7. 8 Kathryn Apel June 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Squish is gorgeous. Simple. Expressive. Clever, clever Kath and Squish.

  8. 9 Katherine Battersby June 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks, Kat! You are officially one of the first people I shared his story with :)


  1. 1 Illustration Sunday « the Well Read Rabbit || Katherine Battersby Trackback on February 14, 2010 at 9:07 am
  2. 2 Competition Time! « the Well Read Rabbit || Katherine Battersby Trackback on July 5, 2010 at 10:27 am

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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:

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