My Favorite Kind of Breakfast, During Which
Eric Rohmann Shows Me How He Makes His Art

h1 October 23rd, 2012 by jules


A work-in-progress relief print
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Final spread
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Last month, Schwartz & Wade Books released Candace Fleming’s Oh, No!, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Eric Rohmann. Last year—hey, I see it was on my birthday, which means I had a good 2011 birthday, no doubt—Eric shared a sneak-peek at this book, and even back then, I knew we were in for a treat.

Mmm. Coffee.Today, Eric’s visiting 7-Imp (I’ve got my coffee ready) to show us some “in-process shots as the crashing elephant image is being cut and printed, as well as some final shots as they appear in the book.” He also shares some work-in-progress images of Tiger stalking Frog (the book’s frontmatter, as you’ll read below) and “two studio shots, which try really hard to: a). make my space look spacious, b). make it look like I’m working hard, and c). make the space seem less like a basement than it really is.”

And I’ve got a few more final spreads from the book, too.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Oh, No!, which has been met with rave reviews all around, is the boisterous cumulative tale of a group of jungle animals who fall into a deep, deep hole and are stalked by a tiger. “Frog fell into a deep, deep hole. Ribbit-oops! Ribbit-oops!” it opens. “Frog fell into a deep, deep hole. Ribbit-oops!”

If you can’t already tell, based on the rhythm of the language here, this one begs to be read aloud. But note also the onomatopoeia at play, which nearly begs for story-time interaction. There’s more than just some “ribbit-oops!” There are also some “pippa-eeek!”s from Mouse and a loud “ACHOO!” from the “soo-slooow” Loris. The bears CRASHES, the Monkey “wheee-haaaa!”s, and the Tiger “slop-slurp!”s his teeth. And much more.

Tiger’s so hungry, but does he succeed? I can’t give away the ending. Well, okay, so one of these spreads below does give away the ending, but there’s one final tantalizing plot development on the very last spread (or perhaps the final endpapers — I have an F&G and am not entirely sure about that), just when you think it’s over.

As you can see in the final spreads from the book shown today, Eric brings readers some exciting perspectives here—most of the time we’re with the animals in this hole, looking up at the next animal, about to take the plunge—and it’s all rendered via relief prints (using the reduction method, as the nifty note on the cataloging page states). And, as a smart friend of mine pointed out before I even noticed, the action on the endpages matches the book’s front and back flaps, and as the Kirkus review points out, the chase (Tiger after Frog) that happens on the front endpapers continues across frontmatter pages until the first spread. This is some well-thought-out design.

Kirkus also wrote that what we have here is a “master printmaker” (no doubt) and a “picture book [that] reads like an instant classic.”

I thank Eric for sharing these work-in-progress images today. First up, I’ll post the images of the crashing elephant being cut and printed. Next up, the Tiger, followed by Eric’s studio shots. And I’ll wrap it all up with some final spreads from the book.

Enjoy.


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(Click each studio shot to enlarge)


 

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“Now Tiger slunk out and licked his teeth. Slop-slurp! Slop-slurp! Tiger stepped out and licked his teeth. Slop-slurp! Tiger narrowed his eyes and licked his teeth. He smiled at the sight of his tasty feast. Drawled Tiger, ‘I’m here to help you out.’ Oh, no!
(Click to enlarge this final spread from the book)


“Then the ground bumble-rumbled and began to shake. BA-BOOM! BA-BOOM!
The ground bumble-rumbled and began to quake. BA-BOOM! The ground bumble-rumbled and quake-shake-quaked. And look who came to help them escape. …”

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OH, NO! Text copyright © 2012 by Candace Fleming. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Eric Rohmann. Published by Schwartz & Wade, New York. All images and final art posted with permission of Eric Rohmann.





14 comments to “My Favorite Kind of Breakfast, During Which
Eric Rohmann Shows Me How He Makes His Art”

  1. Who could ask for more? Rohmann, Fleming, Schwartz and Wade? Doesn’t get any better than that. Great post!


  2. Great ‘slideshow’ of the illustration/printmaking process! The book looks beautiful!


  3. Hi, can i ask you something? I’m looking for children books with “scary” animal illustrations like the big bad wolf (or a fox) eating pigs (or seven kids or “Red Riding hood” or birds in “Chicken Little” or duck in “Peter and the wolf”) or being pictured with a fat stomach. Could be any other animal as well. Have you seen any book of this sort? Any sort of help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.


  4. OOOOOHHH absolutely beautiful


  5. Yay!! Eric Rohmann is one of my favorites!


  6. Rohmann’s illustrations in this book look so solid, like they sprang forth fully formed. It’s neat to get see a glimpse of the process he used to create them. This is definitely a book that begs to be read aloud. I’m not a big time performer when I read books aloud, but with this one I spring into full on performance mode….Perhaps that tiger above is making me use the word “spring”…sprang…sprung.


  7. Fantastic post! Love all the slides. Eric recently shared much of his process at Highlights Advanced Illustrator Workshop. It was a great experience. He’s such a friendly person who really loves to make children’s books. He also mentioned your blog to the attendees at the workshop as a great resource to learn about books. I love your blog. It’s appreciated by a lot people. Thank you!


  8. Oooh, wow – all of that detail with little putty knives and printing inks. Again, it just makes me itch to tinker and make huge messes trying to make art like this.


  9. GO ERIC!!!!


  10. Love seeing the process. Wow.


  11. Love this post! Love this book! So far, my pick to win the big one.


  12. Gorgeous! Love this post and seeing Eric’s process. Thanks for sharing Jules.


  13. [...] Review and insider look at Eric Rohmann’s artistic proces at 7 Impossible Things Before Breakf… (Don’t miss this one!) [...]


  14. thanks
    so great


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