Illustration Evolution in The Wizards and the Whale

We have an unusual way of creating our children's books where Jean paints and then Anthinula creates the story around the artwork. Once there is an outline, Jean will create other illustrations as the story develops. Here are the first pages of our children's book "The Wizards and the Whale" and the following images show how we got there.

FIrst pages of the Wizards and the Whale by Jean Tori 2021

Jean had painted a collection of wizards, so we worked on a theme that had them unite in order to make a difference.

To begin the story we needed a design to show that the wizards came from different kingdoms before they started on their journey.

Here (pictured below) was our first idea with Willow the Whale, who is the one who asks the wizards to help her save the Earth.

Willow the Whale and B&W wizards Jean Tori 2018
Wizards around the world book page first draft Sept 2018 2

However, it didn't quite work because we were trying to get across the idea that all the wizards were spread around the world. We also didn't want to immediately introduce Willow the Whale as the story began with her being the mysterious World Wizard. We created the following, which led to the final design.


Here is the evolution of one of Jean's illustrations during development.

We needed a page in front of the Waterfall Wizard painting where we would place the text.

Originally it was going to be a drawing, but Jean wasn't very convinced.

Waterfall Wizard page design version 3 for Wizard Book

Jean later painted the page and it turned into a magical minimalist landscape.