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Cupcakes, epic adventures and a rainbow coloured dinosaur… how could we say no?! Our illustrations for this new children’s book offered us a rather rare, but nevertheless remarkable opportunity.

We’ve just completed a project for author, Doreen Hearshaw and Olympia Publishers, creating illustrations for children’s book “Rodney the Rather Rare Rainbowsaurus”. The book tells the story of Thea and her friend Rodney. A dinosaur with special rainbow powers and their adventure to Cupcakeland!

The Process

Reading a book, you instantly start to form an image of the story in your head. We felt it was vital to do market research as inspiration can come from anywhere! In this case, it came from of Doreen’s six year old niece. She created her own drawings of how she imagined some of the characters to look which we used as a base for developing each character.

Getting started is often the hardest (and scariest) part of a big graphic design project like this. First of all, to ease pressure, we picked one character to design and sketching lots of different styles. Deciding on an illustration style made it much easier going forward to create the rest of the characters.

With the initial sketches complete we transferred these to Affinity Designer on an iPad Pro. This really sped up the design process. Allowing us to easily add colour, resize, refine and modify elements of each character, at a print ready resolution.

Adopting the same method to create the compositions for the book, we picked out the main events within the story and decided how we would bring these to life.


We worked with Doreen to ensure we captured the magic of her story. Regular feedback helped us as we progressed from sketches through to final design.

Digitally creating the artwork totally transformed the production of the book. As a result, we easily adapted characters across the storyline. Above all, it eliminated the need to re-draw characters many times.

Finally, our team loved working on this project. We can’t wait to see the finished product!

“I gave Cole AD some rough sketches to work with and left them to it!! I was absolutely delighted and amazed at the illustrations and the fact that when I described each of the characters they had managed to capture their personality to a tee. The quality of work is extremely professional and the drawings depict everything that I wanted for my illustrations. I will of course be using Cole AD again for my illustrations should I be fortunate enough to get subsequent books published.”

Doreen Hearshaw (a very grateful author)