Tips for Illustrators

Alice’s Fantastic Runaway – illustration Esther Garcia Peces (UV 2016)

Black and white images have always been a staple of book illustration and can have great dramatic impact. It continues to offer enormous scope to explore different media, from ink brush, pen, and paint, to conté crayons, pencils, charcoal and, of course, digital.

Black and white illustration is vastly more varied than the name suggests, and illustrators can utilise a wide variety of techniques for line work, textures and tonal washes. If you are not sure, look at what is already out there, usually, though not exclusively, in older fiction. Much black and white illustration is used in chapter books aimed at readers aged 7 years upwards.

Your submission can be a single image, or a single page of sequential images (like a comic book page that has a clear beginning and end). Whichever you choose to do, your image needs to demonstrate a clear narrative, and tell us something more about the story you are illustrating.

Your image needs to demonstrate a clear narrative, and tell us something more about the story you are illustrating.

When you develop your piece, be sure the focus of your illustration is clear, and that the materials and media you use create a distinctive feel for the story you are illustrating. Think about your audience: ask yourself which age your artwork is appropriate for and how the style you choose matches the kind of story you are illustrating.

When you pick your moment (or moments) to illustrate, think cinematically by homing in on how you will connect with the viewer using mood, atmosphere and emotion. When planning your composition, consider how you frame your action using different viewpoints, scales and angles.

When planning your composition, consider how you frame your action using different viewpoints, scales and angles.

Read the requirements needed for the final printing of your image in the Illustration criteria carefully. Make sure your final artwork is the resolution size required (600dpi) and in the correct aspect ratio to your final image area. Work at 100% of the size required or larger. Do not work at a lower image dimension size or lower resolution and attempt to make the image bigger once it is completed.

Your completed or scanned final image must be provided at the correct final image print size, which is 148mm x 210mm (or 158mm x 220mm when the required 5mm bleed is included), Grayscale and at the correct resolution of 600 dpi.

Work at 100% of the size required or larger.

However, when submitting your artwork for adjudication via this website, create a copy of your artwork and convert the copy to a lower resolution (72dpi is ideal) and export the image in .JPG format with a maximum file size of 1MB. This is the maximum file-size the competition website will allow for submission. Ensure your .JPG is of high enough quality to really show off your hard work.

For more information on image requirements, the exact image dimensions are available in this Illustration Guidelines PDF. You can also download this image template in .TIF image format which has been created with the correct dimensions and resolution, and is compatible for use in most image creation software, including Affinity Pro, all Adobe products and Clip Studio (formerly Manga Studio).

Click here for: