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Book Illustration for The Pterrible Pteranodon

Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Dear Person, Who Opens My Newsletter,
I thought I’d share some good news. The KICKSTARTER for Tom Franklin’s book, The Pterrible Pteranodon, was fully funded! The KICKSTARTER raised enough money to pay for nine beautiful illustrations for his book! In this issue, I will talk a little about how I went about making those illustrations.

From Sketch to Finished Work
Everything starts with imagination. Everything! When you read a book, you create a “visual” world in your mind. The writer takes you to places you associate in your mind with things you have seen and with things you need to stretch your mind to imagine. As an illustrator, I like to get as close to the author’s imaginings of their world as I can, but it’s hard. Many times the illustrator and author are separated by a publisher. This makes a lot of sense since the process could get very complicated and take a long time if the relationship with the author and illustrator isn’t perfect. So, the publisher oversees the written work, as well as picking the artist to do the illustrating. For this project, I worked closely with the author, who I know and have a good friendship. Below is an example of how I worked with the author to fine-tune the illustration for chapter sixteen. The first two images show the pteranodon Pterrence, the boy Ib, and professor Delby in the background wrapped up in netting meant for Pterrence. This section of the book focuses on Pterrences red glowing eyes inches away from Ib, so I reworked the piece to have a more interesting top-down angle where Delby is seen in the background wrestling to free himself unaware of Ib’s current danger.
Each illustration can go through several rounds of sketches before the final is approved. Chapter twenty-eights sketches needed more research since the uniform I used was not introduced until fifteen years later than this story takes place. Also, in the story, it is a Commissioner that Ib is yelling at and not a Bobby, which is the British name for a police officer, so I had to adjust my sketch. Research is so important when doing a period piece, steampunk novel or not.
Notice the differences from the image on the left to the image on the right.
Notice the differences from the image on the left to the image on the right.
Once the sketch is complete, it is inked and shaded. Since the book only uses one color, black, I used various tones to give the image depth.
Inked image.                                                    Final illustration.
Inked image. Final illustration.
Sneak Peek at Two More Illustrations
I hope you enjoyed reading a little about my process for making these illustrations. Since you made it this far, I will award you with two more sneak peeks. Thank you for taking the time, and I hope you come back for more creative stories from Tea Bow Studios.
Butler Bentley and Ib. Can you find Sophie? HINT: She's a small mechanical bird.
Butler Bentley and Ib. Can you find Sophie? HINT: She's a small mechanical bird.
Pterrence needs water to make steam so he scoops it into his body from his jaw.
Pterrence needs water to make steam so he scoops it into his body from his jaw.
Tea Bow Studios
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Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault @https://twitter.com/bob_thibeault

Author/Illustrator/Book Design/Covers/Logos - Clients include Scholastic, ABC, Houghton Mifflin, Verizon, Stephen Colbert

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