Illustration Process – At the end of Holyrood Lane

January 23, 2019 | Illustration | 1 comments | Author:

Where do I start?
For this book (At the end of Holyrood Lane) I began with sticky notes to create my initial thumbnails. Due to my full life, I set up a folder that I would take with me everywhere so I could use all my available time to jot down my ideas.

From these little ideas I was able to draw more detail. Unlike many other illustrators I don’t seem to be able to sketch small, so I tend to work on A4 size paper…

After discussion with the publishing team I was able to make changes, develop the illustrations further until we were all really happy with them.

For this book, I used watercolour, pencils as well as pastels, so I built a colour palette that would show the style of colours/textures I would use throughout the entire book.

I created a template of colours for the characters that I use as a reference throughout the entire illustrating process.

The front cover… 

Some of the spreads…

The book trailer – 



  • Avatar Jeanne February 05, 2019 at 02:38 am | Reply

    Oh, my goodness, Nicky!!! This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your work flow and process. Your characters are so delightful and their energy makes them pop off the page!


Nicky Johnston

Nicky is a children's book author and illustrator. She is the creative director of 52-week Illustration Challenge, inspiring others to connect with their creative souls.

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