Book illustration is no easy job Think all it takes to...


November 15, 2001|By Tricia Bishop

Book illustration is no easy job

Think all it takes to illustrate a children's book is talent and tools? Think again. Artist Chris Soentpiet (pronounced Soon-peet), who's appearing at the East Columbia Branch Library on Monday, outlines the process he follows on his Web site ( Here's some of what he reveals:

First comes the research. This could mean anything from trips to the local library (to learn about the clothing of a particular period, the physical characteristics of an ethnic group or even which kinds of cows would have been around in 1880) to trips to check out areas he's going to draw.

When he's finished his research, which can take months, Soentpiet, a painter, hires models to play the parts of a story's main characters. That helps him "achieve a realistic and consistent look from page to page," he explains.

He creates the necessary costumes for the models, acts as their hairdresser and makeup artist and then poses them for photographs, which he'll refer to later when painting.

Soentpiet says he adopted, and adapted, his methods from his idol: Norman Rockwell.

Soentpiet's library program includes a slide show and drawing demonstration followed by a question-and-answer session. Registration is required. 7 p.m., 6600 Cradlerock Way; 410-313-7730.

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