Friday, August 10, 2007

Working, Working, Working!!!

This Summer is full of projects....I'm illustrating 4 wonderful books that are each so different from each other yet compliment each other in wonderful ways. The deadlines are a little frightening but it's okay.I picture each project living in a separate house and I imagine myself going into that house when I work on a particular book,there's only that project and those characters and that house and that world and no one and nothing else ...otherwise it becomes too overwhelming. Characters overlap and start visiting and popping into the wrong book and then everything becomes just too confusing..for me.
I LOVE what I'm doing....I've always wanted to be doing this,living a life peopled by the "real" people I love and also the book characters that I am falling in love with more each day and I'm trying different things, experimenting a little with different media, playing. Right now I'm playing with Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils, oil based rather than wax, and I'm having a blast learning how to layer them over watercolors to bump them up here and there. Paula Pertile is a terrific illustrator that is masterful with these pencils and a wonderful inspiration!

The playing is such a joy! Drawing, for me, designing storyboards and creating the characters...those first journeys into the unknown with nothing but a pencil staring into the infinite space of a blank sheet of paper, reading and rereading the manuscript...listening for the invisible people waiting to be let out.....for me, that's the work!
Then after all the drawing...and drawing, and drawing comes the eventual go ahead from Editors and Art start painting. This is my favorite part. Sloshing around with watercolors is my best part, playing with color, watching the drawings come to life is an unbelievably satisfying process, that never feels anything less than superlatively and hugely gratifying. Special every uncovering the Ice Man or seeing the first crocus after an endless, frozen Winter.
Just glorious and always a surprise. Thankfully,I never get used to it.

The illustration above is the cover for one of my projects, a picture-book, Saturn For My Birthday to be published by Sylvan Dell in the Fall of 2008. I'm thick in the painting stage of this book and I'm having so much fun with it! I'm loving painting a book that's humorous and zany and kind of silly.

I'll post more on the other projects as they evolve!
Love, Wendy


Paula Pertile said...

Gosh Wendy, I'm blushing.

This Saturn book looks wonderful! It will no doubt be another one for my collection. Can't wait to see it!

Anonymous said...

Wendy...Hi! It's great to catch up with what you are doing. Happy you are back with us in the Pacific Northwest!Can't wait to see more of your work.Oh, love the cover to the Saturn book!

Anonymous said...


I love the Saturn cover, so does my wife and my two kids. I also got a preview of your sketches, they are great. I can't wait to see the finished product. Good luck.

John McGranaghan

karen lee said...

Hi Wendy,

This cover looks magical. Gorgeous work! I am also an illustrator for Sylvan Dell and loving the creative freedom.

Karen Lee

Andy J Smith illustration said...

The Saturn book looks like fun! Cover reminds me a bit of Georges Méliès/Trip to the Moon. Very cool style as well! Good luck!