Thursday, August 13, 2009

A fun, easy way anyone can illustrate and write a storybook in a back to front kind of way.

I've discovered a really fun, stress free and fast way to write and illustrate a storybook. The secrets are creating it in a back to front kind of way and splashing watercolours haphazardly on a page.

Here is the result (I have put images in pairs, the first is the result of me splashing colours on paper and the second is what I did next...).

Find more photos like this on Piggy Publishing Adventures

I had great fun playing around with text to make the images into a story. Below is what I have come up with so far.

I'll explain how this book came to be. If you find the method appeals to you I urge you to give it a go and share the results with me on Piggy Publishing Adventures.

I love water colours and decided to play around just putting them on the page, creating miscellaneous shapes and colours with no thought to creating a 'real' picture. This was really fun and quick to do. It took me less than 10 minutes to create 5 images. The hardest part of doing this was avoiding painting familiar concrete objects. This exercise is great antidote for someone like me who has a habit of wanting to 'get things right'.

My next step was to (a day or two later) ask myself 'what do I see?' when looking at the images and then to draw a sketch onto the picture outlining what I saw. I knew I wanted to make a children's picture book out of the images so when I looked at the second image I started to wonder a little bit about what kind of story could evolve and once again asked myself 'what do I see?'. I tried to keep a story idea very loose, but wanted something to guide me, and something my children could relate to and enjoy. So, I simply decided this story would be about a monster (both my children love monster stories) and then let whatever happen happen.

Looking at my interpretation of the images now, it is clear to me the pictures that came to mind are a reflection of what is in my life right now. The green circle in blue became a swimming ring in a lake, which makes sense to me as it is summer in Sweden and much of our time is spent swimming in lakes with swimming rings. Fish also feature in this story, which is not surprising considering we recently gave my daughter an aquarium with three fish for her 4th birthday. So, you are probably starting to get an impression of how this works. The great thing about this is that the images that naturally came to mind are everyday things my children can relate to and enjoy.

Once I'd finished sketching the things I imagined over the watercolour images, I scribbled down a story. As the pictures are kind of nonsensical I thought a silly kind of story would fit perfectly. I know the story and the images could do with some work to make a storybook with a clear totality etc... but for now I am very happy with the results.


  1. That looks like fun. I may have to try it :)

  2. How clever! It's funny how the simple things work best.

  3. Great idea!!! So cute too. Thanks for stopping by my feature blog!!!