Exercise 34

Working for children

Pinterest boards for Exercise 34:

Brief – review working for children and experiment with words listed

Focusing on the words, journey and scared, I thought that the target audience for both would be 3-5 years old.  Their lexis at this age is limited but a combination of colours and simple drawings may help them understand the story.

I chose the kitten for the journey as it is an animal that they will probably have come across by this age, and may have a pet of a cat.  The characteristics of the kitten would not be unrealistic so it might be easier for children to relate to.

I chose an owl for being scared as it is a nocturnal animal so it should not be afraid of the dark.  Being afraid of the dark is something that we all experience as we grow up, so the eyes of the owl would characterise the emotion of being scared easily.

The backgrounds was something I wasn’t sure about – so I kept them simple.  A sketch of a background was included as while watching a movie it inspired me because of the shapes in the frame.  I thought it would look good as a background for either the kitten or the owl story.

I also sketched out characters for the words but they weren’t animals.  It was a warm up to get me thinking about it and figure out what would work best.


This is the sketch done for the owl and the kitten.  They’re quite basic but hopefully convey the words of journey/curiosity and scared of the dark.

I wasn’t sure what medium to go for and so decided to try out watercolours.  The problem however is that I really don’t know what to do with some of them so I decided to do what a child would do and I finger painted the owl image.  It is quite messy as a result, but it was something that a child of 3-5 would do so I’m hoping the noise it created in the image contributed positively in some way!


This photo doesn’t actually do the colours any favours here.  I really don’t think I hit the brief well on this occasion.   It feels half baked and not fully realised.  It’s a bit disappointing to say the least.  Part of me was hoping to try paper cutting or linocutting again, but to meet my own deadline I tried out watercolours.

I like the idea of watercolours and have watched videos on them but the skill isn’t there just yet.  I don’t know if it is my own impatience (probably) or simply a case of not getting it, but the ‘light touch’ that watercolours give is not present.  Even the effect of the finger painting can’t save it!

To see what would happen in photoshop the owl image was adjusted and altered to see if anything of value could be salvaged.  I think this is the part that I keep tripping up on.  The idea will present itself but the process for the finished visual is a little trickier.  It’s something that can be visualised sometimes and then it’s a process of trying out mixed media to achieve it, and then other times it is crystal clear on the idea, the process and the execution of it…and my brief clearly shows that I know what direction to go in.

explore owl

It’s a nice image but it’s about 5 steps away from what would be considered a visual for the client and then the final image.

That is a step I keep stepping over!  The visuals for the client…it’s very frustrating because I think this is the step that would help me to get clear and focused.

So overall, as I’m coming the end of Part 5, I feel like I’ve learned a ton and have made a small step forward but the vast amount of things not known are phenomenal.  It has shown me how scattered I can get when under pressure, and I’d really really like to try and sort that out before moving on the 2nd part of illustration.

Texture and play and imagination is big on the list for the younger readers, then as they become more mature the images start to fade out a little in favour of more text and the realism kicks in a bit more.

Perhaps the idea of texture books at the other end of the age group would be considered childish by them, I don’t know.  The use of colours is really interesting as the very young group tend to go for the bright primary colours but then head towards softer palettes.  It’s such a mix!

Even the manner of approach to the illustrations changes so much, and often animals are depicted as having human interactions.  Imagination is high.