Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Sketchy Past

I know I've already mentioned how much I love the artwork of Peter de Seve. There is something about the humor, the characters, and the storytelling elements of his paintings. He creates memorable characters and wonderfully humorous situations. And then we add his amazing draftsmanship. He's an incredible painter and storyteller. He has to be my favorite illustrator working today. So when I found out a year or so ago that he was coming out with a compilation book, I knew I had to have it.

A Sketchy Past: The Art of Peter de Seve was scheduled to be released March 1st. I thought about putting in a pre-order months ago but decided I would wait until it finally came out. Somehow the book got released early on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I received my copy yesterday. In the 24 hours I've owned the book I've been through it at least five times. And still I'm finding new things I didn't see before. The book is huge. 240 pages and every one of them is filled with illustrations. It is a beautiful book.

There are some of Peter's sketchbook images in the margins.

There are the rough sketches that lead to his New Yorker covers.

And some images from the brand new children's book, The Dutchess of Whimsy, that he is releasing with his wife.

There are probably over 400 sketches in the book and each of them is brilliant. Plus there is a wonderful introduction to Peter and his work. I was shocked to learn that he is color-blind. I can't imagine how he can paint without being able to see the watercolors he's mixing. The introduction includes some of Peter's artistic influences and some great quotes from other illustrators about his work. Overall this has to be one of the best book purchases I've made in decades. It makes me smile, it inspires me, and it is a treasure.


Lonster said...

Cat B said:
"And some images from the brand new children's book he is releasing with his wife, The Dutchess of Whimsy."

Wait, the book is titled, "The Duchess of Whimsy", or his wife is?

Cat B said...

Consider it fixed. Thanks.