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Magenta is the new Black -Making of Samanthasaurus Rex

Added on by suzanne kaufman.
I have been getting asked quite a bit about how I came to my color decisions in Samanthsaurus Rex.  I thought it would be fun to show you a little peak into my process.  Color is one my favorite things in the process.  Please note that I am only showing small part of all of the color work and of course no dinosaurs were hurt during the making of these color experiments.  

I like to have fun and explore different color choices.  I don't try to follow stereotypes with color but experiment with combinations.  With experimentation you always need to think about your visual goals.

Color Test Goals for Samanthasaurus Rex
  • She must pop against her family since she is the hero
  • Colors must feel like she is related to her Mother and Father
  • Her color must visually pop against a ton of different backgrounds 
  • She must feel young, empowered and cute.
  • Best color idea wins knowing you tried all possibilities
Additional Notes:
She is small on most pages and needs to be the first read so the child can follow the story easily.   The family colors also have to feel like the product of the Mom and the Dad otherwise the reader will not connect emotionally to the family.  I am so thankful for the color Magenta.  Magenta is the new black.  This whole process was the biggest hurdle in this book and thanks to my amazing art director and editor we found a wonderful combination.


 Here is the first local color. 


After a ton of variation and markings we pick these refined colors, shading and
added a rough sketchy line.  


Here is the final image refined.  I think I refined this image at least 30 times.
Hope this helps anyone struggling with color choices in their books.
Thanks for checking this out.