Here’s where the goodies are. In the fine print. Beneath the Library of Congress catalog stuff that most readers skip.
“The artist used up to forty layers of colored pencil over watercolor wash on 140-pound watercolor paper to create the illustrations for this book.”
---from Rick Chrustowski’s book, Army Ant Parade (Holt, 2001) That’s right. Rick’s book. Okay, so my husband and I stood in army ant swarms and slogged through five muddy days in Panama to see antbirds and yes, I wrote the text. But Rick put up to FORTY LAYERS on some of those hopping frogs and ants and birdies. It’s his book, too.
Chrustowski has this crisp, modern, graphic style that still can give a sense of perspective and landscape. You are in the forest, with the ants, in the thick of the swarm. His art makes the action pop, larger than life, without making the details muddy. Well, you’ll just have to look at it and see. Chrustowski has also written many of his own books, such as Big Brown Bat and Bright Beetle, both from Holt. See more about him at http://www.rickchrustowski.com/
Oct 21-24, 2010 Chrustowski is teaching an in-depth course on bird collage and illustration for grownups. It’s in Minnesota. I’ll be traveling; otherwise I’d be there for sure. It would be a great chance to meet Rick.
Now, I’m off to investigate more notes.
“Illustrations done in watercolor, gouache, and pastel on Arches paper.
Display type set in Ogre, designed by Wayne Thompson and text type set in Weiss
Designed by Susan Mallory Sherman.”
Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Annie Patterson.
These notes reflect the secret artists, the secret work force. There’s an entire layer of work being done on books that is rarely recognized: all that goes into the art and the choice of type and overall book design. What Annie and Susan and Wayne all did made a huge difference in Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out. I give my thanks to them and all the others along the way that have made my words and ideas flock, fly, and swim.