31 July 2009

A Field of Poppies

This is an illustration by Lisbeth Zwerger from her 1996 edition of The Wizard of Oz.

Illustrator Paul Schmid wrote about it:

One of the greatest challenges an illustrator has is taking an inherently busy subject and controlling the chaos so that the piece powerfully communicates the essence of the story to the viewer.

A field of poppies could result in a nearly unreadable cacophony as an illustration. A riot of pointless color at the very least, overwhelming the eye.

Besides, red poppies are cheerful, this scene needs to be frightening. So what’s an illustrator to do?

Selections must be made! Choices! Manipulation! Power wielded!!
Schmid's goes on to analyze Zwerger's choices. He wrote about another of Zwerger's illustrations here


Glenn Ingersoll said...

I bought a calendar featuring these illustrations. I liked Zwerger versions of the familiar scenes.

Jessica Fuchs said...

I really like this piece.