From The Sketch Book

October 6, 2009

How a sketch is born

Filed under: Uncategorized — scottnelson @ 4:34 pm

99% of all my work starts off with a  real basic sketch.  You can see the entire process on how I create a greeting card concept if you visit my YouTube channel here…  /watch Scott Draw.

In previous posts I’ve talked about a  children’s book series I was working on that revolved around embarrasssing bodily functions.  Ewww !  (chuckle)   An artist rep I’ve been working with was kind enough to show my ideas to a few  different publishers. It’s my understanding that a number of them liked what they saw but they couldn’t fit it in with their current marketing niche.  In this tough economic climate, it’s tough to sell something unproven.  Especially when it’s about awkward suject matters.    Determined though to get this series published, I’m reworking the interior look into a more “comic book” like format. 

My normal process with children’ s books is to write first and then draw afterwards.  Then it’s a constant process of  editing the dialogue to fit the art or to edit the art to fit the dialogue.  It’s truly never ending and on occasion there may be two dozen versions of one little image all in an effort  to get the look just right. 

Now as I’m dealing with the agent, I’m not drawing or painting final art  just yet. I’m just trying to sell them on my ideas.  That said, I don’t want them to see my REAL sloppy sketches either. It’s a balancing act of not wasting to much time yet still showing something that is better than my sloppy initial sketches.  Attached you can see the process in which I’ve roughed out tiny interiors on post it notes while I was sitting in auto shop the other day.  Not sure if I’ll use any of em and I certainly wouldn’t show them.  But that’s how I do it.  I’m also showing you my original SLOPPY sketch  of a cover and then a more cleaned up version  of the same thing that I actually would show the agent.   Although I’m never totally satified with my finished art,  the process to getting there is actually very satisfying.    So— draw, draw draw.  Especially while you’re waiting for your car to get new shocks.  It’s great fun.

Pe-ew post itsPew-Ew Cover sketchSloppy Pe-ew cover



  1. I love to see the ‘process’ laid raw like this. Especially since it’s both the same and different for each of us!

    Comment by Lynne Chapman — January 16, 2010 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  2. Lynne: Yes I agree. Creativity happens when you least expect it. I sit at my drawing board for hours each day but on occasion, sitting in a waiting room or simply drawing at the park gives your efforts a little more–umph! That said—I LOVED your sketch book. Stunning!!!

    As for the colored pencil rack– a woman who helped me at one of my art camps husband made it for me as a gift. It’s very neat and I told him that he should market it.


    Comment by Anonymous — January 16, 2010 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  3. Ahh…found this post about your process. I will check it out! Have a good day!

    Comment by Korey — February 9, 2010 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

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