"Drop into the Ocean: A tour of the World's Oceans and Seas" book: Post 01

Drop into the Ocean book illustrated by Marta Tesoro
Picking up my advance copy from Hardie Grant Explore

A few weeks ago I picked up my advance copy of the book I was illustrating most of last year: Drop into the Ocean which was written by Karen Wasson and published by Hardie Grant Explore.  It is now available for pre-order on several sites and will be in stores June 05 2024.  I am so excited for that! I have had books published in the educational sector before but not ones that have been made available in bookstores and it's based on sea animals which I love drawing.

The description of the book is as follows on Booktopia:

Drop into the Ocean is a beautifully illustrated children's science book for kids aged 6 and up. Join Neptune the jellyfish on a sensory journey through the world’s oceans and seas with a narrative that weaves in onomatopoeia and a series of fun facts. 

Welcome to the ocean! It covers over 70 per cent of our planet and is home to literally trillions of animals and creatures. Our tour begins in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. From here we will meet many different marine creatures, frolicking and exploring the world’s interconnected oceans with us. We’ll pay a visit to the Great White Cafe, play and romp through the kelp forests, get lost in the depths of the Mariana Trench, and sing with the whales. Our oceanic adventure comes to an end on sunny Australian shores.
Featuring whimsical illustrations by Marta Tesoro and a shiny cover, drop in and come along on an immersive journey of oceanic discovery. There’s so much to see, hear and do in the ocean.

Work in progress for Drop into the Ocean
Hand drawing Beluga whales for Drop into the Ocean while out and about

I was approached by Hardie Grant Explore in early 2023 to possibly illustrate for the book.  They found my portfolio on Illustators Australia . I had just finished doing quite a few sea life themed artwork for another project and my folio reflected that.  For the book, I hand drew and inked all the illustrations and then edited and coloured them in Photoshop.  I preferred to do this to make the illustrations as flexible as possible to accommodate the text and any future fixes that might occur.  Also, hand drawing meant that I wasn't stuck just in front of the computer screen for months at a time.

Drop into the Ocean illustrated by Marta Tesoro
Beluga whales being edited in Photoshop for Drop into the Ocean

Colouring in Photoshop is great.  I can cover up all my hand drawn sins and edit as I need to.  Also I can go to town on the shading without having to worry about making mistakes.

Drop into the Ocean page
Drop into the Ocean Sample Page

Here is a small little close up view of one of the pages in the book.  I really did enjoy colouring up the coral and drawing up all the different tropical fish.  If anyone wants to hire me on a fish book, i am totally game!

Drop into the Ocean book launch at Readings Kids
Drop into the Ocean book launch details

We also have our first book launch locked in!  Hurrah!  I've not done anything like this before so am both excited and nervous.  We are still planning activities and giveaways so stay tuned for that! 

I'll be writing more and showing more images about the book as we get closer to the date as well and fingers crossed that the book does really well!


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