Clarbojahn Presents! Guest Post from Illustrator, Claudia Wolf.

Hi Readers!

Claudia Wolf at her desk with Annie open at the computer

Claudia Wolf at her desk with Annie
open on her computer

Today as the last segment of my blog tour with my blogging friends I give you, Claudia Wolf, my illustrator in “Annie’s Special Day,” my début picture book. So take it away, Claudia!

I was commissioned to illustrate a story for Clarike Bowman-Jahn, a first time children’s book author. I was happy to be able use a new pastel style I had been developing, from my recent experiences with the medium.

I had extensively used pastels for a big courtroom sketching project for a nationally recognized double trial. I wanted to take my re-found knowledge of the pastel medium and put it to use for a much lighter, happier purpose. I have done children’s books for years, either digitally or a mix of pencil, pen or watercolor then finished digitally, but this was something altogether new.

My last children’s book project was for a large publisher, where the art director was changed three times due to an internal dilemma. This created a very difficult time for me and a lot of extra work.  I was so excited to now be able to have a good amount of free creative reign on Annie’s Special Day. Clarike trusted my experience and vision, which propelled me to reach for creative heights with my work.

Thumbnails of  "Annie's Special Day"

Thumbnails for “Annie’s Special Day” as done by Claudia Wolf

I like working fast, throwing myself into each project, and this is what I did. I first created a set of thumbnail sketches for Annie’s Special Day, which are small sequential loose sketches which map out the flow of images, enabling us to see the story’s pace at one glance. Clarike, her husband Ed and I went over each detail of the thumbnails through email and on the phone. I then drew the line art to size for each page. Once the line art was done and approved, I moved onto the color phase.

First Page of "Annie's Special Day"

First page of “Annie’s Special Day”

I had not done pastels for an entire book before, and did not realize how important the choice of paper color would be. I chose to use the same color paper for pages that faced themselves, whether double page spread or not. I felt it would harm the continuity of the book if the pages were all different colors. I chose the flow of colors carefully, mostly reflecting time of day, since this was the focus of the story.

I then drew each rendered page for Clarike, sending her the scanned and retouched illustrations as they were produced.  Clarike and Ed carefully

Page 7 of "Annie's Special Day"

Page 7 of “Annie’s Special Day”

reviewed each page, and were very thoughtful in their observations. The story takes Annie, the main character through a day, hour by hour, teaching the telling of time in a subtle but fun way, going to school, helping mom, and celebrating her birthday. This book truly became “Annie’s Special Day”.

Thanks so much, Claudia, for your thoughtful article specially written for my blog. I appreciate it so much. And thanks again for the wonderful job you did in illustrating Annie’s Special Day. Now that it is finished and published  I am having a ball marketing and promoting it. As you can see this is the last post in my friends’ mini blog tour. a book review and Q&A by the author of Annie’s Special Day on November 12, 2012  the illustrator story from Clara’s side of Annie’s Special Day on November 14, 2012.  author Clara Bowman-Jahn’s publishing story on November 15,2012  the idea to story of Annie’s Special Day on November 19, 2012, a post from Annie’s Special Day’s illustrator, Claudia Wolf, on November 20, 2012, here as you read.

Claudia Wolf Illustrator: Bio:

A gifted, life-long artist, Claudia Wolf has illustrated more than forty children’s books and covers for

Page 9 in "Annie's Special Day"

Page 9 in “Annie’s Special Day”

various publishers including Harper Collins, McGraw Hill and Picture Window Books. In addition to Claudia’s publishing work, her career has encompassed fine arts, as well as the advertising field. She is also a court-room sketch artist, well-known for her drawings from nationally publicized trials.

Commercial pastels

Commercial pastels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Claudia greatly enjoys her work, and it shows. Experienced in traditional and digital media, she is multi-dimensional in style and method. A graduate of Paier College of Art, she lives and works in Connecticut with her husband, children, and dog named Elvis.

Thanks for reading!

Page 17 of "Annie's Special Day"

Page 17 of “Annie’s Special Day”

About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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13 Responses to Clarbojahn Presents! Guest Post from Illustrator, Claudia Wolf.

  1. Great post Ms. Bowman-Jahn and Ms. Wolf! I like the sketches! 😀 I also really like the final pictures!


  2. It’s so interesting to hear about creating a picture book from the illustrator’s perspective! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  3. Could listen to illustrators talk forever about their creative process. I really love Claudia’s illustrations as they capture a very spirited little girl. The cover is priceless and one of the best I’ve seen. You were so fortunate to have such a good relationship with Claudia. Great interview.


  4. I’m always fascinated by how illustrators create their images … thanks for this glimpse behind the scenes.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Widder
      I think my email got hacked so I’m in WordPress as an alias. If you got an email from me saying something like “Hey!” or “how are you” it’s the hacker. So sorry. I’m at a loss.
      Clar 😦


  5. Widdershins says:

    Well that was interesting. I got to be a double widder there!


  6. Margot Finke says:

    I simply LOVE Claudia’s illustrations. She just exactly the kind of artwork I like in books for kids. I would give anything to have her talent. . . sigh!

    BOOKS for KIDS – Manuscript Critiques


  7. Micki Peluso says:

    Wonderful post with a fascinating topic. I enjoyed it thoroughly!!


  8. Hi Clar,
    What a great way to end your blog tour!
    I’m always intrigued by other illustrator’s work.
    Happy Thanksgiving 🙂


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