Critter of the Week: Camptosaurus

Meet Copper & Daisy. These gentle giants are always happy to meet new friends.  They love being part of the group.

copperndaisy update.png

Copper is a strapping young bull, and never leaves the side of his lovely lady.  He’s very much the gentleman with her, and any friend who joins the herd.  Just keep a close eye on your pockets if you have treats!

You can’t hear him, since it’s a picture of course, but Copper is chirping to Daisy.  He’s found a good patch of something tasty, and he’s telling her to follow him.  Many dinos could probably make a lot of noise without ever opening their mouths, like the gurgly hum Copper is making here.  But you can see his lovely red throat all blown up like a bullfrog. 🙂

I imagine him sounding a lot like this…


Making progress…

This week I’ve been focusing on finishing the storyboard so that I can work on the “dummy”.

If you’re new to this sort of lingo, the storyboard for a picture book works just like it does for a movie.  The illustrator plots out which scenes go where in the book, and gets a feel for pacing and overall layout of the story.

It also works a bit like the outline before writing a novel.

Once the storyboard is done and the illustrator has an idea how the story will go, then comes the “dummy”.

A dummy is basically a mock up book.  It can be in full color or simple black and white, but it gives the illustrator a model to loo at.  It is a full scale mock-up book that gives an idea of what the final book will look like, rather like the model buildings architects make before constructing the real thing.

And that’s what I’m working on now. 🙂

With a dummy, I’ll have something for family and friends (and any other children who are willing) to look at.  This way I can test it to make sure the story is good, the illustrations are clear, and to get an idea for changes I’ll make for the final illustrations.

For my dummy, I’m testing out a few new ideas in certain scenes based on research, and testing out basic color.  This is nowhere near what the final illustrations will look like, but just a rough estimate to get a “feel” for the look I want. (and I mean rough, absolutely no reference here…I use this to figure out what I need reference for.)

Take the spread below, for example.  The scene on the left takes place in the child’s imagination of what it would be like to have Alfred the Allosaurus as a pet.  Because it’s a daydream, I want the dinosaur to appear larger than life, more like how children would see it.

Based on this picture, I now know that I should focus more right around the dinosaur’s head and children’s faces.  I still want some of the bed visible of course, because how else could we see that the dino’s too big?  But here the bed takes up almost the whole scene, and I need the dinosaur to fill up the room. 🙂

I’ll make a basic little model later to figure out the precise angle that will best tell the story.

10x10_alfred in bed


So far my kids have requested the “little, quiet dinosaur” story for bedtime every time Daddy has late school nights and can’t read stories!  So far they’ve only had a few sketchy drawings in awkward spreads in my binder, but they don’t seem to mind that.  They love asking, “Where is a little dinosaur, a quiet dinosaur?” 🙂

I can hardly wait to see how other kids like it.  Gotta get the dummy done for that! 😀


Coming Next Week…

This little dino is a bit shy, but she’ll come out of the bushes for a sweet hug and a small treat. 🙂

Share your guess in the comments! She’s one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Camptosaurus

  1. Ooh, it has color! It’s only the storyboard of course, but it’s looking good so far. 😀 I like the layout.

    Just out of curiosity; when you say, “For my dummy, I’m testing out a few new ideas in certain scenes based on research,” what sort of research do you mean? 🙂


    1. Hi Brownie, good to see you here! 😊

      My research at the moment mostly involves environment. What sort of plants and animals lived in the same time and place as the critters featured in the book.

      It turns out that most of them are from the same area, and lush redwood forest and tree ferns are NOT the standard scenery.

      I’ll showcase an example in a couple of weeks. The “meet Steggy” illustration is the most obvious example with the biggest changes. 🙂

      I need to put together my reference page, so everyone can see where my sources are from!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s