The Start of Your Adventure! 

Close up of the drawing, set on the South Pacific. This illustration is about Adventure, in fact a bunch of themes concerning the topic. As we see the two main characters go through danger after danger! The skulls and the “Man-Gorilla” set the tone! There will be so much more on the way!



This fun project is themed around, “Adventure!” A personal project that’s going great! The story centers around a brother and sister as we see snipets of there adventure! Think Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and Rick and Morty. One the drawing is done, the next phase is to scan the art and use a paint app. 

The rough sketch on the left and the final to the right. 

Page One, Paige and Sergi

 A page from a book i’m commissioned to work on. It’s a mother and child picture book. Looks and sounds simple enough, yeah right! But this post illustrates the design and careful thought into making just page one. Created using the procreate paint app and Indesign CS.

 These are thumbnails for page one. It’s all about designing the illustration and text together. I end up taking the thumbnail, top of the third.  

 A post of the characters of page one and so forth. Paige had to be cute and appealing with curves. Her dress had to be simple, so i choose a summer dress. She and her son Sergi are of Latino heritage. To illustrate the bird, i choose a cardinal. I only saw this bird once in my life and i like the look and shape of the bird.  
 The final art! The drawing is strong, nice silhouettes of the characters. The composition is fine and i like the positive and negative shapes. Lots of color harmony and the spilt complementary work well together. Satisfied with the expressions on both Paige and Sergi. Especially Sergi’s filled with surprise and wonderment. 

I painted textures on the characters and tree to make them look interesting and not flat looking. I purposely let my drawing show through, just so your eyes can follow the shapes. I really love Paige’s animal printed dress. For the font, i choose Times New Roman, going for legibility here.  

Crap on a crud!

I find myself again taking or adding thumbnails to my pet project. Story still the same, it’s about what design makes sense or not and how to make the story visuallly interresting. Once i get this all straighten out, the next step is making a dummy book.

What is a dummy book? It’s like a precuser of what the book might look like. These small books must contain the story with the comp sketches, clearly rendered or drawn. You can print out the book OR save it as a PDF file. When i get to that, i will do a tutorial. Thanks for following along and it you have any questions, let me know!


It’s actually good that i screwed up!


The first illustration for “Annabelle’s Ghost” is done, BUT not what i was hoping for. The problem is composition, the protaginist is set in the midde, which is boring. Two, Annabelle is too close to borders and not enough gutter space, areas of art that can be cut off. Thrid, the monochrome idea with the dramatic lighting was cool, but lacked color harmony. The scream text behind her seem cheesy and then you realize it’s all about legibility, you don’t want kids to struggle while they read, it’s about encouraging them. Because of this mishap, i had to go back and redraw the design. If anything, this illustration is an example of what not to do. It’s actually good that i screwed up.

To keep in mind when illustrating:

A visually interesting design and composition.

Color harmony.

Nice value range.

stay away from mixing text and illustration.

Questions or comments, let me know! Until then keep on drawing!

Comp Sketch!

What’s up! it’s all about the comp sketches! So I took my small thumbnail and blew it up to 4×6 inches. Comp sketches are designed to clear up the idea from the thumbnail. Where you can see Annabelle cower in fear at the corner of the bed. If there’s something wrong with it, I can always draw another design or fix it. As you can see, a full illustration with text in the white space. Got any questions, let me know!


What is this blog about?

The purpose of this blog is to share my experience of creating a children’s book. This personal project is based on a ghost story I heard when i as a lad. About a little girl being haunted by a ghost every night. Hopefully whoever you are, you will learn and appreciate the design and creativity of making children’s books

~Anthony L. Mata, Illustrator

Anthony Mata

Update: Thumbnails of the first page.

Continuing on with my children’s book! I am doing thumbnail sketches of the first page of my book. These thumbnails are meant for one purpose. Planning how illustrations and text look together. So you got to think about what type of image, which is a full illustration. And how much white space you need for the text.
Now the story of the first page in a little girl, cowering in fear and screaming off the top of her lungs. All five thumbnails indicate that action… I just have to pick which one is designed best. The next phase will be comp drawings, where the idea gets cleared up.

page 1 thumbs

Character Design

CHARACTER DESIGN! For my own children’s book.

What’s most important? Traits, characteristics, and shape.


I make a trait list for my ghost based on the story i wrote. That includes:


What are characteristics?

What would make my character unique and different? For example my ghost is a child. So i make note or sketch ghost and toddler characteristics. To make it more unique i added head trauma and autopsy scar. Once i gathered all the info i need, i start drawing my ghost child.


The importance of shape, it helps define the character visually! When you look at the ghost kid, you’ll notice how odd it looks right away.

Besides looking odd, the ghost had to look cute too. So i drew angular shapes as much as possible. It makes the ghost look unhealthy. As oppose to circular shapes. Which makes a character healthy.

What makes the ghost cute is the giant head proportional to the body. Big head, small body. If you look at toddlers, they have those shapes.

In the end, you have to think about you character in terms of shape. It REALLY makes a difference in your art and makes characters stand out.

Check out the examples. You can see how i think about how the ghost child looks. A series of rough sketches that lead to the final drawing!

If you got any questions, let me know. I hope you learn and appreciate the character design process.

Anthony Mata Illustrations's photo.
Anthony Mata Illustrations's photo.
Anthony Mata Illustrations's photo.
Anthony Mata Illustrations's photo.