Pete the Taxi Truck Picture Book Illustration

Pete the Cab Picture Book Illustration

This is a 2-page illustration spread for a children’s book that’s part of a larger story about a pickup truck that comes to London to be a taxi. The black cabs, famous in the city, treat him badly since he’s not like them.

I had a lot of fun creating this spread, developing the characters and working on the background. It was also a challenge to balance white space and make room for the story text.

Sketches, Color Roughs & Character Development

Once the idea was decided on, I went to work creating the taxi cab characters and the main character, Pete. I wanted the vehicles to be able to express human emotions that the reader could easily pick up on as well. It was also important that the taxi’s each had their own personalities.

After my characters were pretty well defined, I set to work creating thumbnail sketches to tell the story as best as possible. I wanted to show recognizable London landmarks as well. I finally landed on the bottom, right sketch in red as it combined many things I liked from each of the other 3 ideas.

I then moved on to some quick color roughs to explore how I might add color to the scene. On this earlier version of my sketch, I explored making it rain on the characters to enhance Pete’s feeling of sadness.

Final Spread

For the final piece, I combined the characters and their personalities along with my background sketches to tell a story. I was able to incorporate enough on London into the scene to communicate the environment they are in – from the iconic red phone booth and bus to the Underground sign and landmark Harrod’s department store.