All content © Ward Jenkins unless otherwise noted.

As I mentioned earlier, illustrating Chicks Run Wild was so incredibly fun! I really enjoyed drawing all the little chicks going wild, as well as how Mother Hen would react to them. Never knew just how fun it was to draw chickens all day.

I want to share with you my progress on two spreads for the book: pages 4-5 and 6-7. Follow along below:

All images © Simon and Schuster, Ward Jenkins.



After rethinking of twelve chicks, I then went back and did some “thumbnail” drawings, or “thumbs.” These drawings are drawn pretty small, so as to get a general idea of how the story will look. I usually draw these quickly. Here, you can see that I cut the number of chicks down to five.


In some of the earliest drawings I did for the book, I originally drew about twelve little chicks. It would’ve been a nightmare to draw all of them AND their beds! Yikes!


Once I like the thumbs, I’ll redraw them larger, with a darker pencil. Here, I’ll add more details. I then send these to the publisher and hopefully they’ll like what they see.


Once I’m happy with the composition (how everything is placed on the page), I’ll then start “painting.” Instead of using actual paint, I color and paint using a program called Photoshop. I’m able to do a lot of fun things to make it look like real paint or chalk and can also alter or change things right away, instead of having to redo the entire spread over, if I make a mistake. Photoshop is very versatile and has made me a better artist, in my opinion. Below, you can see the final two spreads, after the text has been added by the publisher:

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into how I work! If you have any questions about my techniques or process, please feel free to contact me via email. I love answering questions.


After I get the final word from the publisher, I then redraw the entire spread with a final detailed pencil line that I’ll scan and put into the computer. I usually draw the characters separately, so I have to piece it all together, similar to a puzzle.