Photoshop Basics: Make a Thumbnail Sketch Template for Children’s Books

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You’re starting your first children’s book project and you’ve been asked to do thumbnail sketches. What the heck are thumbnail sketches and how do you make them???

What Are Thumbnail Sketches?

Thumbnail sketches are a series of tiny sketches used in the first stage of illustrating a children’s books. Use this simple, small sketches to block in the basic flow of a picture book. You’ll find that starting with small sketches makes it easier for your eye to see what’s working and what need adjustment before you move on to completely the full size rough sketches.

Why Do I Need a Digital Template?

You can absolutely draw your thumbnail template on paper, but I love the ease of creating them in Photoshop. I can save my thumbnail templates and reuse them if I’m working on another book at the same trim size. And I can either print them out to sketch in pencil or I can sketch right in Photoshop or Procreate.

These thumbnail sketch templates take just a few minutes to make in Photoshop and will save you so much time in the long run.

What the Heck is Bleed and How Do I Set That Up?

Bleed is the part of the image that will be trimmed off when your picture book is printed. Learn how to set up a double page spread with bleed in this video.

Now, on to the thumbnail sketch templates!

In This Tutorial You’ll Learn:

  • How to make a quick thumbnail sketch template for children’s book illustration.

  • How to set that template up so you can sketch right in Photoshop or Procreate.

Ready to learn more about illustrating in Photoshop? Check out Photoshop for Illustrators: The Basics. It’s a straightforward approach to getting started illustrating in Photoshop now. None of the fluff. All of the good stuff!


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