The Background is an integral part of any illustration. Sometimes it is simply a textured area and in other cases it needs to represent some particular area. When I was working on the newly released, "Song For A Giraffe," I did a ton of research on the African Savannah. Never having had the opportunity to visit the area, I needed to rely on National Geographic films, books, the library, Google and photos from family and friends who have actually visited there.
Accuracy is important even in a picture book. Below are some of the backgrounds created for the book. Keep in mind that it is a picture book and these are only an illustrator's interpretation.