Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sweetest Book (aka: too many calories to count)

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit my web site. 

In 1951, the Little Golden Book classic, Pantaloon, was first printed by Simon & Schuster... In 2010 the new version of that children's picture book classic will be released by Random House, the present day owners of all the Golden Book titles. 

I had the very fortunate opportunity to be selected to re-illustrate this new version of the book, and yesterday received an advance copy of the completed book. The reproduction of the art looks terrific. It is such a satisfying feeling to finally have the actual printed book in your hands, after the many months of doing all the preliminary sketches and the numerous finished illustrations! All these illustrations were finished in the late winter of 2009... and the book will be released nationwide sometime in the spring of 2010... 

The story is about an energetic poodle who is determined to become the Baker's new assistant, and will stop at nothing to to so... People who have seen the illustrations already, have all commented on how delicious and tempting all the pies, cakes, breads, cookies and pastries seen throughout look. Out of curiosity, I just did a quick count of how many tasty items I actually illustrated... counting everything seen on the cover, endpapers, inside illustrations, etc... I think there are about 490 food items! After reading this book, one will definitely head straight for the nearest bakery to pick up a chocolate eclair (or three). How many pounds did I gain while working on the visual research for the book you ask? I'm not telling... but let's just say that I hope my next children's book project is about a kid who spends a lot of time in the gym. 

All the illustrations were painted with Winsor & Newton gouaches on Arches hot press watercolor papers...then scanned into Photoshop, where I did some additional digital enhancements, especially with much of the "pastry" work.

Posted here is the half-title page art (box of pastries), and an illustration from one the the opening pages where Pantaloon and the Baker first meet...

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