I’m on deadline this week and, like virtually every project I’ve ever done, woefully behind. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just the way I work. I start slowly and ramp up the speed and productivity the closer the deadline gets. So as a kind of cop out, for my post this week, I’m going to share some of my sketches and processes for this project.
In no particular order, these are rough—very rough—sketches from the first of two books I’m illustrating written by Dori Butler, Dear Beast.

So there you have it, a very small sampling of the piles and piles of sketches I create before creating final art. Most of the backgrounds are not sketched out—unless pertinent—till the final illustration.

kevan atteberry


  1. Awww, if this is a cop out, it’s a wonderful cop out! I know Dori and am so excited for both of you for this project! I know it will be GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  2. I’ll take your sketches any day, Kevan! LOVE that skunk!! Looks like a very cute book :).

  3. Love a peek at your behind the scenes sketches. Looks like it will be a fabulous book!

  4. I love this so much Kevan. That cat! Scenes from our house. Esp. with that goldfish. I have no doubt you’ll make your deadline. I think procrastination is part of my process 🙂

  5. Love this!!

  6. Rebecca Van Slyke

    This will be a guaranteed success! Just look at the amazing talent behind both words and illustrations!

  7. Kevan, you’ve got a lot of talent! This was a fun post.

  8. I love seeing the early stages of the process. It makes us appreciate the final product so much more when we realize the amount of work that led up to it. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thank you for sharing these creative sketches.

  10. THANKS for the sneak peek, Kevan! Didn’t know you were illustrating this series. How fun for you and Dori!

  11. Thank you, Kevan! It’s so inspiring and encouraging to see an illustrator’s work in progress. And yours, in particular! I appreciate your giving us a view from behind the scenes where the work evolves from rough to shiny.

  12. I so enjoyed this post! Thank you, Kevan

  13. So fun! Makes me want to draw right now. My favorites are the boy holding that poor cat, and that fish who is absolutely INSCENSED by what he’s reading.

  14. I’m green with envy!

  15. This is good for us authors to see. Thank you for sharing your process!

  16. Great sketches. I’m redoing my chestnut characters – within the eyes. The eyes have to be right – or at least cause some valued emotion.

  17. Always fun and interesting to see how the creative mind works!

  18. I love these. That fish!!!!!! Wonderful.

  19. Not a cop out, a fun walk through your process of illustrating! Good job!

  20. I think it’s time management, Kevan. My husband always says that certain projects take up as much time as you allow them to. And Yay to you and Dori (my friend, too!)! Can’t wait— Congratulations!

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