I Love You Too, I Love You Three Slinging Paint Part 2


Illustration by Sheila McGraw
Illustration by Sheila McGraw
OMS — Odorless Mineral Spirits — a solvent, can be used to blend pencils and pastel. When using solvents, be certain your work area is well ventilated.

After some experimentation with new materials, I fell back on my tried and true method. Using a fine semi-transparent rag paper, which is pretty great all-round for pastels, markers, and colored pencils. 

First, assembly-line style, I ruled the paper to 125% of the book’s size. (Always work larger than the final print size.) This paper is semi-transparent, allowing me to trace down the preliminary sketches in a pale blue that’s erasable.

Now comes the color. Keeping in mind the publisher’s preferences — for the child and “its” room to be gender neutral — I avoided gender-specific colors and objects.Using pastel, colored pencil and the occasional marker I blocked in the base  “washes” of color. To blend these mediums, I used a brush and OdorlessMineral Spirits.

Finally, I added shading and detail. Wanting to maintain lively energy, I deliberately made stationary objects off-kilter, and to achieve a cuddly feel, the furniture and objects are chubby looking. I also avoided black outlines which can be harsh, using indigo blue instead.

Illustration by Sheila McGraw

As I work I like to display the illustrations in order, on a wall. This helps with the continuity of color palette, characters, and content. If the bathmat is green in one scene, it better be green in the next bathroom scene.

Click below to read more about the creation of a children’s book from conception to bookstore shelf!

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Hi! I'm Sheila McGraw. Welcome, and thank you for visiting. I began my career toiling in the “sequin-mines” of advertising and fashion houses as an illustrator and copywriter. Then, in 1986, Firefly Books approached me to illustrate a little book titled, Love You Forever.

Welcome hyper-typers and paint-slingers to my blog about writing, illustrating, and publishing books for kids and adults; art, crafting, and whatever else tickles my fancy.