More from Sergio Ruzzier …

h1 February 27th, 2013 by jules

“‘Wait for me!’ says Bear.”
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Last week at Kirkus, I chatted it up with author/illustrator Sergio Ruzzier (ooh, he’s updated his website all spiffy-like) about his two newest picture books, Bear and Bee (Hyperion, March 2013) and Eve Bunting’s Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? (Clarion, March 2013). That Q&A is here, if you’re interested, and today I follow up with some art and early sketches and dummy images from Sergio — with some words from him about how he went about building these picture book spreads. I thank him for sharing.

Let’s get to it …

Sergio: Bear and Bee was done in pen and black ink, but instead of using my usual watercolors, I colored it digitally. I was surprisingly very satisfied with the result, especially with the way the colors look on the thick, matte paper that was used.

[Here’s] a page from my very first thumbnail storyboard:

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The sketch of one spread from a rough dummy:

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A more elaborate sketch of the same spread:

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Most elements for that same spread in pencil:

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The same thing, but in ink and on my usual Arches watercolor paper:

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The clouds!

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The whole spread, after I scanned the different parts and arranged them on the screen:

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The final spread, digitally-colored:

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The dummy sketch for the opening spread:

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All the parts in ink, minus the snowflakes:

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Some of the snowflakes in ink. They are all different, as they should be!

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The whole spread in ink:

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The final spread, digitally-colored:

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With Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?, I went back to my beloved Schmincke watercolors. The line is done in pen, with a mix of black and sepia ink.

In this book, as I was telling you in the Kirkus interview, I had a great time adding visual side stories to Eve Bunting’s original text. Here, Ox thinks he saw Duck’s blue socks. As you can see in the next picture, the socks he saw are actually purple, not blue. If you look at the painting Ox is working on, you’ll see he has a very personal idea of colors.

I have always liked persimmon trees, not uncommon in the Po Valley, where I grew up. The orange fruits are still up after all the leaves have fallen.

“‘I have lost my new blue socks.
Have you seen them, Mr. Ox?'”

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“These are socks, but they’re not new.
They’re more like purple, not like blue.”

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In the back jacket, I show the tree again, with some of the fruits starting to rot on the ground.


(Sergio Ruzzier; photo credit: Brian Floca)

* * * * * * *

BEAR AND BEE. Copyright © 2013 by Sergio Ruzzier. Published by Disney/Hyperion Books, New York.

HAVE YOU SEEN MY NEW BLUE SOCKS? Copyright © 2013 by Eve Bunting. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Sergio Ruzzier. Published by Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston.

All images used with permission of Sergio Ruzzier.

5 comments to “More from Sergio Ruzzier …”

  1. The best of both Sergios! (digital and w/c) These are both on my need-to-buy in the 2013. Real beauties.

  2. I bet you’ll like ’em, Matt.

    And your comment nearly sent me into shock. People these days seem to comment more on social media sites at the links *about* the post, instead of at the actual posts themselves. I see this happen at so many sites/blogs.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with it. I do this, too, sometimes, but sometimes it’s like ghost towns around here anymore.

    Ah, the ever-changing world, due to social media.

  3. Love this!
    I’m so glad Sergio shared these charming pictures.
    I especially love the attention to the handmade, Italian footwear that the characters wear.

  4. Wonderful! I’ve been looking forward to both of these books. Tweak Tweak was one of my favorites last year.

    Thanks for the sneak peek! I’ve got a thing for persimmon trees too. They grow where I grew up in California’s central valley as well. Sergio captured them perfectly – fruit dripping off the branches, mushy ripe ones littering the ground. It’s that attention to detail that always draws me in to Sergio’s books. That and his clouds. Best clouds around.

  5. All too kind!

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