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A Guide to Types of Children’s Book Illustrations

Illustrations come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. People know that illustrations are the key to understand a story especially those included in a children's book, as it helps them get the context and lesson that the story is trying to tell. There are lots of illustrators, and each has a different medium when it comes to creating their art. Here, we're going to talk about the different types of art media that artists use... and how relevant they are in telling a story to the young.


Many people are familiar with this type of medium, as they also experienced using this in school for simple art projects and such, along with crayons. Watercolor or water-based painting is a technique in children's illustration that involves working with water and paint, which therefore makes something called a pigment. This art medium is suitable for people of all ages and good for beginners in making art. This is a simple yet good form of art as you progress and find your true forte in illustrating.


City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems & Jon J Muth

Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman

Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett


A crayon is a stick of wax, chalk, or other material that contains a color or pigment. They are commonly used art mediums and are widely known by people. Crayons are often used for simple art projects and are mostly used by younger artists as young as toddlers. Although common and used to make simpler masterpieces, crayons make a great medium for some creative artists.


The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt

This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers

Go To Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing

Color Pencil

Colored pencils are a kind of art medium that artists use to create abstract or realistic illustrations to help readers get a grasp of the real world through their art. The use of colored pencils is the same as using graphite pencils or paintbrushes.


The Lion and The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Good Night Harry by Kim Lewis

When The Earth Wakes by Ani Rucki

Oil Paint

This medium is considered the best for creating art. Since oil makes it easier to blend and maintain the consistency of the paint, it is used by most illustrators as of now. It also helps in refining and polishing the quality of the art by easily removing any thick parts of the paint without the worry of drying. Indeed, working with oil paint means having no pressure in what kind of work you are doing.


I Once Ate A Pie by Katy Schneider

Grandpa Smiles by Natalie B. Thomas

Dark Day, Light Night by Jan Carr

Acrylic Paint

It is a fast-drying medium of art that is made from synthetic resin and has almost no odor. Artists who use acrylic as their medium are those who often experiment with many different art styles. If someone is a beginner when it comes to painting, using acrylic paint is a must. Along with oil paint, acrylic paint is also one of the best mediums of art because of its versatility to be used in so many styles.


Simon with Two Left Feet by Angela K. Narth

Disappearing Desmond by Anna Alter

Kitten's Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes

Collage Illustration

Collage illustration is a beautiful and unique art medium that uses pieces of paper arranged to create an image. This technique is applied by many artists but there are only a few in the children’s industry who actually illustrates with this kind of medium—one of its most famous users being Eric Carle.


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Eric Carle

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

RRRALPH by Lois Ehlert

Other art mediums include chalk, charcoal, oil pastel, and tempera—although they are not that widely used for illustrating children's books. However, these art styles can also be now be achieved by means of digital art because of some advanced features that digital art software has (such as types of digital brushes to know what type of art you are trying to achieve).

Choosing your own art medium is important because you are choosing tools for making art that you believe to help you while you make your progress. As is mentioned, every artist has a different art style as they have different ways of expressing and conveying a story through their art. Being comfortable with your own medium is a must as it will help you express yourself more and develop your skills into becoming a better artist each and every day.

Author: Blaine Kaye Morales


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