Friday, July 4, 2014

Baby Beards! Part 4: Storyboards


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This is post #4 in a blog series -- Did you miss the first 3 posts?  (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Baby Beards! Part 4: Storyboards:
The painting supplies and paper that I bought with hopes of motivating me to start the illustrations for Baby Beards! sat in the shopping bag for over a month. I needed my writing critique group to take a peek at my manuscript and dummy book before I moved forward. At our monthly meeting I read my manuscript and they liked it! They suggested I make a few changes. One of the suggestions was to rework the words I used for the ending bath scene. I totally agreed with their advice and made the necessary revisions.

After the meeting, I remember feeling pretty anxious about the next step in the process. I was worried about my ability to produce quality, believable illustrations. Also, I was struggling with the fact that I knew I was entering the most labor intensive part of the process to making Baby Beards!. My four children keep me very busy as a stay-at-home dad and I was worried about balancing the time with them and continuing my work at Happy Birthday Author too.  I wondered,  "How am I going to have time to do this? Will this book ever happen?"

Thankfully, in March 2014, my wife, a teacher, was on spring break. We did not make travel plans and the family was content to spend the week at home. It was the perfect time to see if the illustrations for Baby Beards! were going to happen.

I felt the best use of my time would be to spend more time with each page from my dummy sketch book so I decided to make to a full-color storyboard. This was the best decision I made during the whole process. I spent the time that was necessary to sort everything out visually, answer questions and concerns that I had about the storytelling, and as a added bonus the storyboards later served as the road map I used to complete the final illustrations. I referred to the storyboards until the book was published.

I had so much fun creating the storyboards! I loved having all my supplies spread all over the dining room table. My youngest children enjoyed having all the supplies out too! My wife did not have the same feelings. We had to clean up every night before dinner. (She had a solution to this problem which will be in a future post! hint...hint...my own book-creating-area in the house!) 

Storyboards for Baby Beards! via www.ericvr.com
I made my storyboards on really thick watercolor paper with colored pencils.


Storyboards for Baby Beards! via www.ericvr.com
My little helpers!








My son helped sharpen the colored pencils!


Final Storyboard 1

Final Storyboard 2

Final Storyboard 3


Final Storyboard 4

My anxiety about creating believable illustrations was lightened after completing the storyboards.  It was the first time I that I really had everything that was visually in my head onto paper. It took me about a week to complete the storyboards, but it was worth the time investment.  I now had the confidence to jump right into painting the illustrations.

This was part four of how Baby Beards! became my new self-published picture book. (Did you miss (Part 1Part 2Part 3,?) Want to read Part 5 - CLICK HERE!

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