Thursday, June 25, 2009

Zwerger part one

Lisbeth, Lisbeth, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

We’ll start with the values. Squint and you’ll notice that she’s working with only 3 distinct value sets. Lights, a few halftones and some darks. No mushed tones here!

Notice how the dark windows and ground circle the center of interest like a frame.

The two identically sized buildings and formal, centered composition enhance an awareness of the difference between the diminutive Dwarf Nose and the giant next door.

Look at the empty space above Dwarf Nose! It emphasizes his shortness and your eye runs right down that slide of space straight to his red coat.

The colors are kept muted and cool except Dwarf Nose and the orange coated giant, with the thin orange roofs of the neighboring buildings as a triangular unifying device.

Even the door of the shop is arcing towards Dwarf Nose.

My drawing teacher Mr. Parks used to say: “Find what you can do to reinforce the center of interest.” Here Lisbeth uses color, value, shape, space, movement, temperature and scale.

What we see here is not mere talent but deliberate, smart work.

My heart goes pitter-pat.

Illustration by Lisbeth Zwerger from ‘Dwarf Nose’ by William Hauff. North-South Books.


Katie said...

Wonderful. This piece makes me feel like I am getting a glimpse of a whole other world. I love the atmosphere and the colorful characters. A true delight.Makes my day to look at it.

CocoaStomp said...

She's amazing. Sometimes I have to go on a Zwerger diet, though, because she makes me feel like a real Dwarf Nose.

I love this series you are doing, Paul! You are awfully good at articulating what makes a piece so powerful*, keep it up, please!

*And I know we'll see similar thoughtfulness in YOUR books!

Paul Schmid said...

Thanks Jaime, I have a deep regard for these artists, and it's a real pleasure to be able to point out what I can see of the brilliance behind the beauty.