Making An Illustrated Cookbook

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 27 - Peach - Making An Illustrated Cookbook - Doodlewash

As I was thinking of the prompt of “journey” for today my mind was on completing the final steps of our illustrated cookbook to prepare it for final publication. Trying to pull together a book, even one like this little 40 page tome, involves quite a lot more steps than either Philippe or I initially realized. From the initial layout design, which Philippe created, to getting all of my watercolor sketches at the right resolution for printing. The content was the fun part to create, but editing made my eyes cross in the end, and one just hopes there aren’t any major errors left when hitting the publish button. (It’s all new rambles, nothing copy and pasted from the blog by the way). On my blog, I can see a silly error months later and correct it. A book is far more permanent. But I’m happy to report that we have the first versions of our book complete and ready to purchase! So we didn’t disappoint our mothers after all. That said, this round is a higher-end edition, and we’ll be making another version available as well soon.

We chose Blurb for the printing as they have very handy software tools for the book creation that saved us a ton of time. The entire process was really seamless going from their software to a live book. These are the admittedly premium editions, including the awesome hardback version we created for our mothers. It turned out so cool! Our selection of a square format and premium paper to realize, our artistic vision, however, made the costs higher than we would have liked. So I’ve listed this version as the Premium Edition, and don’t worry, they’ll be a softcover mass market version available shortly on Amazon and other places for under 20 bucks. That version isn’t a square like this one, but a traditional 6×9″ paperback on standard paper. It will still be lovely, but not quite as awesome as these.

So, this first edition is definitely more the art piece we intended and I’m thrilled that it’s finally complete. Although our mothers would agree it’s worth every penny, this might be a little much for those not related to us, so we wanted to be sure to quickly follow-up with a value edition as well. I’ll update this post when the link is available to that one and you can also keep checking the side bar on this site if you’re interested. But yeah, nothing beats the hardcover version!

Our friend is coming over for dinner in just a few minutes now and I still have to paint something. I did this post in reverse order as I was excited to tell you about the book. Now I have less than 15 minutes to add an image and post, so wish me luck! Though it took lots of time and lots of love, I’ll always remember the fun and exciting journey of actually making an illustrated cookbook!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Yellow, Leaf Green, Red Rose Deep, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 27 - Peach - Making An Illustrated Cookbook - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

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65 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 5 months ago

    Congratulations Charlie and Phillips!!!! The book looks wonderful!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary!! 😃💕 It was super fun to put together!

  2. Sandra Strait 5 months ago

    I just received some bad financial news, so I think I’m going to have to wait for the softcover which breaks my heart. I’m glad you managed to get your book out. As someone struggling to get a book done myself, I know it isn’t easy!

    • Myra 5 months ago

      try creative press and don’t give up. You could sell some of your illustrations as art on threadless to raise money? or teach a class on skillshare on your process.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to hear that my friend! 😃💕 Sending your hugs! Yes, this version is far more expensive than we expected, but they’ll be one that’s much less and also an eBook version soon. Books are so tough to put together! But totally worth it… so yay to your book! You’ll DO it!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 5 months ago

    Wow! Your book looks fantastic and the recipes make me hungry. I’m especially glad you dedicated the book to Phineas!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      hehe… he demanded it! lol We really didn’t have a choice in the matter. Thanks, Sharon! Glad you liked how it turned out! 😃💕

  4. Aesha 5 months ago

    I’m so excited. I just purchased a copy and can’t wait to receive it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Yay!!! Thanks, Aesha!! 😃💕 We will be over to sample the dishes you prepare with it very soon!

  5. Jodi 5 months ago

    Hooray for you Charlie! I used Blurb to make my book too. Isn’t it a wonderful resource? Your book looks beautiful!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      It’s a great resource, and your book looks beautiful as well!! I know, because I have a copy sitting on the table!! 😃💕 hehe… and actually, after seeing yours we realized how to reformat ours so it’s not so pricey. So thanks! Yours looks amazing!! And, of course, it’s an awesome read! hehe… you had me at a duck named Chuck. 😉 It’s not just for kids… it’s a perfect gift for kids at heart! Congrats!! ❤️ ( if anyone reading this is curious, definitely check out Jodi’s book here – http://amzn.to/2DFsZ4J )

      • Jodi 5 months ago

        awwww! thanks Charlie! I can’t wait to get yours!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

          Aww thanks!! You’re so sweet! 💕 I was so impressed with color in your book! Your watercolors looked amazing!!

          • Jodi 5 months ago

            Thanks Charlie!

  6. Sean Kupisz 5 months ago

    This is beautiful. Congratulations! I love your drawings! What size nib in the Safari are you using?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sean! 😃💕 I always use an Extra Fine nib, and lately, sepia ink as it seems to help let the watercolor take center stage more.

      • Sean Kupisz 5 months ago

        Awesome! I would use Carbon Black in my Extra Fine Vista, but I would be constantly plagued with hard starts and/or skipping on Stillman and Birn Alpha Series paper. Now I am using Noodler’s Bulletproof Black, which doesn’t always sit still with a wash, so I use Platinum Century EF and UEF, and a Kaweco Sport EF with Carbon Black.
        Thank you so much, Charlie!

  7. June Hadaway 5 months ago

    I am so very happy you and Phillippe followed through with the cookbook. I love the cover and am excited to order one as soon as i can. Congratulations.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, June!! 😃💕The premium softcover and hardcover are the only ones available to purchase immediately, but they’ll be a less expensive paperback version as well as an e-book coming soon!

  8. Myra 5 months ago

    Wow this is great and reminds me of what I am doing these days. I am painting trees and doing it all myself on createspace. It must be great to have your book out and that is awesome that you had someone help with the layout. What program did you use to scan your art? I know what you mean about your eyes hurting. I am looking for a simple program that will allow me to remove background and add color because scanning watercolor is tricky as it dulls color.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Myra! 😃💕 The someone who helped with the layout was my partner in life and co-author Philippe. hehe He’s also the one who bought me my new scanner which is awesome… not the newest, but it can remove paper texture automatically which is great for illustration: http://amzn.to/2DUn2o0 – After the scan, I use Photoshop to remove any additional background and increase vibrance to make it look exactly like the page in my sketchbook.

      • Myra 5 months ago

        wow that’s awesome you have help

  9. Myra 5 months ago

    Oh and by the way thank you for sharing this as it truly has inspired me.

  10. Sarah Tan 5 months ago

    Congratulations! 🙂 Your cookbook looks amazing! 🙂

  11. Yvonne 5 months ago

    The first 3 pages sold me book – and why only mom gets to have the hardcover?? 😁 Just placed an order – i cant wait to see the whole thing!! Great job and great idea!! Kudos to you and Philippe!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Aww you’re just too sweet! 😃💕 Thank you SO much, Yvonne! In my enthusiasm, I forgot to mention that proceeds go right back into the Doodlewash community and a small portion also goes to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation to help get art supplies for kids who need them, so thanks so much for your support!!!! Much love!!❤️

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 months ago

    The book is really impressive. From idea to completion, quite an accomplishment.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 It was wildly delayed… in my head I thought we could launch it at the beginning of December. hehe… books are harder than I thought! 😊

  13. Pao Alfonso 5 months ago

    Congratulations!!!

  14. M. L. Kappa 5 months ago

    Congrats and best of luck! Can’t wait to see it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Marina! 😃💕 You can click the link to check out the preview. Only the premium versions are available for sale right now, but a trade paperback version and e-book are soon to follow!

  15. Sharon Henson 5 months ago

    Congratulations Charlie ! Well done my friend !!

  16. MAGNY TJELTA 5 months ago

    Wonderful, Congratulations!

  17. Congratulations to both of you, Charlie and Phillips!!!! Looks FANTASTIC 🙂

  18. Linda Murray 5 months ago

    Congrats Charlie and Philippe! Your book looks yummy!! Seriously, the illustrations are delightful 😊 You are truly amazing, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 I just hope now a few people actually buy it! lol But either way, it was super fun to put together!

  19. Kaye Boggs 5 months ago

    congratulations on a job well done!

  20. Jennifer McLean 5 months ago

    My gosh, Charlie, your cookbook looks so spectacular. All the other cookbook authors are gonna be jealous! Seriously, stunning work by you and Philippe. I’m stunned by it’s beauty.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Aww that’s so sweet of you to say! Thanks, Jennifer! 😃💕 Yeah, we were totally pleased with how it turned out. The hardback version looks amazing!! But yeah… kind of pricey, so we’ll be offering other versions soon. A definite learning experience! 😉

      • Jennifer McLean 5 months ago

        Don’t be so down on the hardback! That’s a good price for a hardcover cookbook. It’s beautiful and worth the price. I’ll buy one when I save some money! I like hardcovers for cookbooks best anyway!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

          Thanks! 😃💕 Yeah, I have to admit that both the softcover and hardcover premium versions are far better than the Amazon on that’s out this week. And the hardcover is the one we envisioned exactly. But darn, we couldn’t get the price any lower without giving it away it for free! Still though, there’s a bit of profit and a portion as always goes to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation! 😃

  21. Beverly Wong-Kleinjan 5 months ago

    That is so exciting about the cookbook! 🙂
    (Love the orange; very succulent looking.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Beverly! 😃💕 The cookbook was super fun to make…. hope some people actually get one! 😊hehe

  22. Anita Sinha 5 months ago

    How do you manage to reply to so many comments personally..Truely amazing effort ! Your replies are very helpful..Thanks Charlie..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Aww thanks, Anita! 😃💕 I do try to respond on my blog, but my Instagram peeps have gotten neglected lately. I have to play catch up there. hehe… but I figure if someone takes the time to comment, I should let them know it’s very much appreciated!

  23. Jill Gustavis 5 months ago

    Yay! Congratulations! I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for the availability of the softcover!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 There’s a premium softcover available now, but the Amazon version that just under 20 bucks will be out this week! I’ll also have an ebook version, but the tangible ones are still cooler. hehe 😉

      • Jill Gustavis 5 months ago

        Definitely tangible! I’ve learned through experience I just don’t use digital recipe books. I don’t even like to reference recipes online! Print it out or book format all the way. It’s not a real recipe unless there’s cooking stains on it! Haha 😉

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

          Yeah, we’re the same. Philippe has a stack of cookbooks. hehe… the Amazon one of ours is actually out there, but I’m waiting for the cover image to appear to link it. hehe 😊 I had wished we could have figured out a way to get the hardcover version cheaper as it’s just awesome. Maybe for the next one if anyone buys this one! lol

  24. SeemaMisra 5 months ago

    Saw the preview, and it all looks very beautiful. Congrats 🙂

  25. Susan Cuss 5 months ago

    Oh, that’s fabulous, Charlie! Congratulations!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan!! 😃💕 It was sooooo much fun to put together! Now we’re just hoping people actually might buy it! 😊hehe

  26. EK O'Connor 4 months ago

    Just ordered your new cookbook. Love the illustrations, stories and recipes. Congratulations on your new book!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww… thank you SO much my friend!! 😃💕 That means the world me!! I hope you enjoy it!!

  27. Kate Powell 3 months ago

    I wanted the square format but can’t afford it — but just bought the softcover! I want to see what you and Phillipe are up to in the kitchen!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks, Kate! 😃💕 Appreciate it! Yeah, the square format was crazy pricey! hehe…. all that premium paper and stuff, but the other version turned out beautifully. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

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