ARRRRRGGHHHH! Pirate themed picture book is next…

I am beginning preliminary sketch work for a new picture book project for publisher Farrar Straus & Giroux. It’s written by April Jones Prince, and is a fun pirate-themed twist to a classic children’s story… I am not going to mention the book’s title quite yet, as it’s not slated for publication until 2017…. best to keep it under wraps at the moment.

Like Father, Like Son… Pirate Style. Character sketches for next picture book project.



My normal process in creating the illustrations for a story, of course after already having read the manuscript a million times and after making visual shorthand notations on ideas for scenes… is to then create preliminary sketch studies of the characters within the story. Once all these studies are completed I then create a rough storyboard of the entire book, working out the scenes, compositions, balance and flow of the spread scenes, full page scenes, and vignetted images, plus the relationship of the text and image placement, etc… 


Once the storyboard is completed (which by the way is not shown to anyone) I then proceed to making all the full-sized final sketches based on the storyboard, making adjustments and improvements along the way. It is these final sketches which are then formally presented to the editor, art director, and design director at the publishing house.

ARRRRRGGHHHH!  Pirate themed picture book is next...
She wields a better sword than ladle… Character sketch for next picture book project.



All the sketches were created with crayon, gouache, and with added digital color. 


Anyway… I am at the very start of the whole process, and what you see posted here are early sketch studies. So, the characters I have created thus far could certainly change and evolve further during the storyboard and sketch stages…..


ARRRRRGGHHHH!  Pirate themed picture book is next...
A fair lass… Character sketch for next picture book project.

In 2015, I have two new picture books being released:  

WILD CHILD (written & illustrated by Steven Salerno -August 2015, Abrams Books for Young Readers) It’s a story about a new kind of wild creature that dominates the jungle, and how all the other animals try and tame it to restore peace and quiet. But nothing they try works. The wild creature just getswilder… until the clever Gorilla finally figures out a way.

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel (written by Betsy Harvey Kraft, illustrated bySteven Salerno -October 2015, Christy Ottaviano Books) It’s the true life account of American engineer George Washington Ferris, inventor of the giant observation wheel built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and dubbed the â€œFerris Wheel”. Visit my illustration web site stevensalerno.com to see the many picture books I have illustrated, as well as to view my portfolios for advertising and editorial projects…

See full post here: Steven Salerno Blog2015-07-10.