Recipes to Die For

Amelia Dyer 1895

There’s an element of uncertainty when I start on a picture book: I really have no idea of what the style of the illustrations are going to be like. The opportunity to illustrate it into any style I like is incredibly exciting.

Only when I’ve finished writing my story will I start illustrating the book. I will try different styles and ideas, and this is the part that I love the most, especially character design. You see your ideas develop and evolve and if you’re lucky you end up with something cool and exciting (of course there are plenty of times when your ideas don’t work out and then you have to go back to square one, but I won’t mention those as I want to concentrate on the positives here!).

Illustrating a book is a very organic process. Below you will see my first attempt at illustrating the main character of my latest book Amelia Dyer. Next to it is the final version of the character. As you can see, they couldn’t look any more different from each other.

Amelia_gifAnimation amelia dyer portrait

The original idea was to produce a book similar to the style of my previous title, “My Monster”. But the fact that I started using new software for creating my illustrations, changed my plans. Blender’s features – especially the 3D modelling functions – took my illustrations to new levels of complexity and creativity. Everything I learned affected the style of my illustrations and in the end, I came up with something that I had never produced before and I’m hoping the book looks better for it.


About G. Olivo

I love children’s picture books, Disney and Pixar animation and a lot of my illustrations tend to reflect my love for comics, cartoons and picture books.

Posted on January 14, 2015, in Amelia Dyer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Gustavo I love seeing the original and then how far you have taken it. She looks positively frightening. The process is a long and satisfying one when we stick with it. I cannot count how many times I have re-sketched my images.

    • Thanks for your comment Kath. It’s a long process for sure. A struggle sometimes but like you said, satisfying and well worth the effort when we stick with it.

  2. … the second drawing is more genuine and startling; you’ve improved the character enormously! ☺

    • It’s a complete different style. I guess it’s down to preferences, but I’m pleased you like the finalised version of Amelia. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog 🙂

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