The Illustrator Corner (TIC) with Malinda Raines - KIDPRESSROOM

The Illustrator Corner (TIC) with Malinda Raines

TIC with Malinda Raines

This month on The Illustrator Corner  (TIC), we’d love to introduce illustrator Malinda Raines! 

Malinda has illustrated over ten books and now designs stationery and greeting cards for businesses in between illustrating for different authors. 


Malinda showed an interest in art at an early age. She painted in high school and then went on to major in Graphic Design. After college, she hoped there would be lots of jobs, but her small town didn’t offer much in the field of graphic design, so she settled for screen printing. 

Ironically, some of her work was later found online by someone who was looking for an illustrator, and Malinda quickly jumped on board. 


Malinda prefers using watercolor, color pencils, and ink. She says that she likes a lot of colors and usually uses a more traditional style, although Photoshop comes in handy when making a change.

When asked where she gets her inspiration from, Malinda’s first response was nature. 

“I get inspiration from nature. I’d really like to move out into the country, and sometime soon I will. I love fine art and all its magical qualities, but consider God Almighty the greatest artist of all.”

She continued: “Among a lot of sadness in this world, there is still beauty and hope in him, and that’s where I get most of my inspiration to be and become better in what I like to do.”


TIC with Malinda Raines – Step-By-Step 

Here is Malinda’s illustrating process in her own words (Thanks, Malinda!)

Step 1: First, I will make my sketch the way I want it to be, then tape the watercolor paper down to a drawing board. 

Malinda Raines sketch - KIDPRESSROOM

Step 2: Then I use transfer paper to trace my drawing onto the watercolor paper. I use a hard pen over the drawing and transfer sheet below it to make sure the drawing is transferred to the watercolor paper. I will then fill in all areas with basic watercolor paint using brush sizes 8 and 4. Let it dry.

Tracing the drawing - KIDPRESSROOM

Step 3: I will add more detail in the grass, leaves, water, and animals. I may use a smaller brush or liner brush. Let this layer dry.

Painting and adding details - KIDPRESSROOM

Step 4: With this step, I have outlined some areas with black Micron pens, sizes 005 and 01.

They are waterproof and won’t smudge. Then I will add more shadow and colors, more layers to add more depth. Let it dry. 

I will give more detail with my micron pens and add more layers of watercolor detail. Let dry. Remove tape. Then I will scan the completed illustration at 300 DPI. 

Adding more details - KIDPRESSROOM

Step 5: I’ll then open Adobe Photoshop. There, I make any last clean up or changes. In the tree top, I had a split in the tree that didn’t look right, so I scanned an area of the tree and placed it on a different layer, rotated it until it was right, and brought the layers together as one. I may also make more corrections, or pick up the colors in my painting with a brush in the program.

Malinda Raines Painting final details- KIDPRESSROOM

I will then save it to send to my author for approval, and then to the publishing company, in a CMYK format which will be ready for printing.

If you enjoy Malinda’s work, join us on Instagram Stories and Highlights for her walkthrough.

For previous editions of the program, make sure to check out our TIC page.


Malinda Raines lives in Danville, Kentucky, with her husband Jeff, who loves to play the banjo while she paints. She’s worked as a graphic artist and has had a number of different kinds of jobs but illustrating and painting is what makes her happiest. She has worked with several authors and helped them complete their books with colorful, happy and inspirational illustrations that complemented their stories. To learn more about her work, check out Malinda’s website