Draw a kids’ book #2: On your marks…

On your marks, get set… draw! Today in our crash course in How to draw a kids’ book using iPad, we draft the whole thing. The whole thing? Yes! All of it

Draw a kids' book using ipad

Octagenarian. Laura Eades 2014


Big draw festival 2014: Draw a kids' book

Big draw festival 2014: Draw a kids’ book

Already? Yep! Just rough rough sketches

So, I’ve got my iPad…

Open up a drawing app. I’m using the (now free) iPad app Brushes.

You might prefer another drawing app. There’s no great unique magic about Brushes, I’ve just learned my way round it. I particularly like how you can work in layers,which I’ll explain in a minute.

How do I use Brushes app?

I know how it feels like to not have a clue about the technology. Trust me, it’s a doddle. Nobody ‘knows’ how to use it. Just fiddle with it, clicking on stuff and opening it up. If you want a really quick tutorial with helpful pictures, try this page on iPad Brushes app for Dummies (not that you’re a dummy).

Draw a kids' book using ipad

Vauxhall Astra. Laura Eades 2014

Using Brushes to work in layers

Right. Layers. Layers are key to how I draw.

Imagine you have a white piece of paper and you place a piece of tracing paper over the top. You draw your outline on the tracing paper and you splash colour on the white piece. Then, if you want to tidy it up, you can put another piece of tracing paper on top, and make your outlines look really beautiful, and then take the sketch piece away. Do you get the idea?

Here’s a little video tutorial (not by me!) on how to work with layers on Brushes.

So my point is, draw your sketches on a transparent layer, not on a solid white background.

The truth is out there

Perhaps when you’re looking at these tutorials you’re beginning to understand how to learn about technology: your curiosity will lead you.

It’s not like in the olden days when people would do ‘computing courses’ to learn how to do things in different programmes. These days, if you have a question, you just have to ask the internet and providing your use of jargon contains the right keywords, you’ll usually find someone has written a handy ‘how-to’ out there!

Open up a page

I make a new image for every page of my book. How many pages in my book?

I make a page for every line of words.

Draw a kids' book using ipad

Cup of Ribena, Ford Cortina. Laura Eades 2014

Now draw every picture

Really, really fast. The next lesson in this series is a week away, so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Make the pictures scrappy as you like because the wonderful thing about Brushes is that you can go back and improve things later.

Try this: Set a timer for five minutes. Don’t take longer than that for a single drawing. Put a plate of smarties in front of you. Draw till the bell rings. Eat a smartie. Start a new page. Draw again. Until it’s done.

But my drawings are too crap!

  1. Your book is going to be a gift for a child. The love is in the doing.
  2. It’s for a child. They’ll be delighted you did it for them. And they don’t have the same standards of ‘good’
  3. With Brushes, you can always improve on the pictures later. Just get some outlines down. Accept what you do.

I felt pretty unimpressed with my own sketches I can tell you, but that means they’ll get better later. A bit of colour will help.

You can see my pics all through this post. Scrappy, huh? Let them be a consolation to you.

How to draw a kids' book using iPad

Cup of Ribena. Laura Eades 2014

How to draw a kids' book using iPad

Cup of Ribena. Laura Eades 2014

Do even more with layers

Layers allow you to work roughly and then trace a more ‘refined’ layer on top. But you can do even more with them if you like: you can also use an eraser to carve away at layers of colour to give a screen-print effect.

More on colour next time!

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How’s it going? Open up the comment thread to share your experience and expertise.

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