How to draw book illustrations

Illustration is an auxiliary image to the text, which helps the reader to plunge into the atmosphere of the book. The subordinate position of an illustration in no way detracts from its significance and artistic value, and sometimes even vice versa – you will want to read a book only thanks to colorful illustrations.

Illustrator is an artist specializing in accompanying texts with images, often an illustrator is a professional artist who draws not so much in the style of realism, but in the graphic style, fantasy or line art.

Since there can be many illustrations in a book, the essence of drawing images is to create them all in a certain style and mood. Illustrations should not only clarify the text, but also be connected to each other by one drawing technique (either 3D figures, or flat and so on).

How to draw illustrations?

  • Read the text of the book (because in my case I write the book myself, then I just open the desired chapter and page, browse).
  • Describe for yourself in one sentence what general style and mood you want to create – it will be a strict ornate or funny and cartoon style, you want to draw something scientific and educational, or your illustrations are designed to entertain the reader. Almost everything that you will continue to do will depend on the task.
  • Choose the right materials. It is worth paying attention to the speed and convenience of work, if you need to make illustrations quickly, choose materials for high-speed work (markers, watercolor, acrylic). For lighter illustrations, light pastel colors are suitable, for scientific – bright and clear lines, for creative – unusual combinations and slight negligence in execution.
  • Choose a basis for illustration – will you draw by hand or digital? On paper, cardboard, canvas or metal? If the drawing is done by hand, it is important to choose the right paper size so that you do not lose the quality of the illustration during subsequent digitization. If you are drawing on a tablet or on a computer, it is important to prepare the source with the correct resolution and create illustrations in a format compatible with the publisher.
  • Draw illustrations in a short period in order to adhere to a single style, since if you take a break, then it will be difficult to return and continue to illustrate in the same vein. You can do 5-20 illustrations at a time, depending on your skills, then take a break. It’s better not to draw one illustration, as it is in groups that you can create a common style mood.

My illustrations (part 1) for a book about video blogging errors on YouTube:


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