Illustration Lesson Week Two: Setting

Hi! Here we go on to week number two! This week is all about setting in a story. Last week I showed you a variety of characters. This week I want you to show you a range of settings. The setting supports the character in the story. It can indicate time, feeling, power, weather, history, location, point of view and more.  Setting can even collude with your character. Sometimes that which is visible in the setting is as important as that which is not shown. The setting can be stark, lush, ornate, or spare. The setting is vitally important it's the stage set in which the story unfolds. 

This week includes:

• An example of a minimal setting.

• An example of a lush setting.

• Examples of children's book settings and their storytelling elements.

• Your assignment

• Week two Booklist. 

Here is an example of the minimal and the clever:

The concepts and characters are all concise, visually thoughtful, and edited to a succinct telling that expands the reader's experience


Here is an example of imagination in a lush setting.

Other Components of Scene Making:

Comparing the two books, one might say The Child of Books engages our mind while A River is more visceral and engages our body. 


We've just experienced two very different setting styles. Let's now look at a range of books that use a variety of components to set the scene.

Components of Scene Making:

Consider these examples when choosing what type of setting you want for your book. Elements to consider when creating scenes:

 1) Medium

 2) Color

 3) Value (relative lightness or darkness of the composition)

 4) Line

 5) Texture

 6) Form

 7) Negative Space

 8) Spatial Distortion

 9) Point of View or Perspective

10) Sharpness of Focus / Diffused focus

11) Time: as in time of day—time of history—passage of time

12) Weather, Mood, or other Atmospheric Conditions 

13) Conflict

14) Action

15) Fantasy

16) Informative or Descriptive Detail—Selective—Diagrams or Maps—Layering of Images

17) Symbolism

18) How much scene do you need and what will benefit your storytelling? | Brooklyn, NY 

© 2018 by Kristen Balouch

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