I’m making progress on the story board for The Magic Fairy Party Makers. In fact, it’s surprising how much I have accomplished in just one week! That may be due to a new tool I am trying in the process….tracing paper! Okay, so tracing paper is not “new” but it is something I have not used before. I read an interview on line with one of my favorite children’s book illustrators, Melissa Sweet, who mentioned that she draws her storyboard sketches on tracing paper. I thought… Why? Since I couldn’t exactly ask her, I decided to just try it myself. The main difference I discovered using tracing paper versus opaque drawing paper, is greater flexibility with redrawing ideas. In other words, I don’t have to start from scratch every time I want to try something different for one box of the story board. This is a big time saver.
If you are interested, this is a photo of my process for creating a sketch for the storyboard. I start with a very rough, small, thumbnail sketch of my initial idea. Okay, that might work. Then I make a pencil sketch of that in the size of the box, (in this example it is two boxes) being sure to save space for the text that will go on that page. Then I trace the parts I like, using a black pen. I can then move the trace around in the box trying different locations for the image or the text, and maybe add or subtract something to make it better. This can sometimes come together quickly (as in this example) or take a few more sketches. When I am satisfied that the tracing paper sketch works with the text, it is taped in place on the entire story board that is up on the fridge. Now I can see how this box fits with the rest of the developing parts on the story board. All of these parts can be moved or changed at any point. Storyboarding is kind of like a making a map and a solving puzzle at the same time. You have to find your way as you go along and it is never really finished until the very end.