One Artist’s Dummy Exercises

Illustrator Denise Hilton Campbell was among the participants at my UCSD Extension class, “Illustrating Books for Children” last Spring.

She has an extensive portfolio of published works for advertising and print.

While she and I had worked together (I as art director/designer at Harcourt; she as illustrator) on several book jackets, she had never tackled the children’s picture book genre.

While Denise’s preferred medium is watercolor . . .


. . . she also possesses superb drawing skills.

On her illustration blog, she chronicles her explorations into book dummying. Some highlights:

“… I didn’t give much thought about the fact that there was a process involved in writing and illustrating a good picture book. I thought you just drew 32 pretty illustrations and threw in some words! That all changed with the class and now I’m hooked. . . this is an example from [the] simple 8-page dummy. . .” — Denise Campbell


“. . . [on to] a 16-page dummy. . .”— DC

“. . . You get the idea…[the 8-page and 16-page dummies] were both wordless stories. An exercise in telling a story without using words as crutches. Finally we tackled the 32-page dummy (above). . . “— DC

You can follow Denise’s own picture story on her process in creating her class assignment sketches, here.

And check out the many finished pieces she produced post-class here. A sampling of her progressive experiments with one double-page spread from the above mentioned 32-page dummy follows, below . . .




Holiday Tip:  Gift your favorite creative person with an Art Class!

Course title:  Illustrating Books for Children (ART 40011)
Instructor:  Joy Chu
Dates: January 7th – March 9th, 2013 (nine weeks)
Fees: $275  [early bird special: $250 if enrolled by 10 Dec 2012]
To register: 858-964-1051;


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