Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The following was originally posted in January 2008. Some of you may have missed it then and since Donald is going to be this week's AT HOME profile, I thought I'd post it again.

Today I'd like to introduce you to the other half behind Skinny Brown Dog. Illustrator Donald Saaf is multi-talented. Besides illustrating Ten Little Sleepyheads, Jump Up and other delightful stories, Donald plays the banjo on Dan Zanes' Catch that Train CD. He also sculpts whimsical figures from wood and sandstone. On top of that, he's married to Julia Zanes, a fine artist in her own right.

I asked Donald to share his process of illustrating Skinny Brown Dog. Along with his comments, he sent along a few early sketches.

"For these pictures I used a sort of fake renaissance technique, where I painted them out in tones and then added the color in washes on top. I didn't have a special reason for making them all animals, except that I really enjoy putting animals into clothing, but I found once I did this, it transformed the story a little bit and emphasized the element of unfair exclusion.

"Why isn't a dog allowed?

"This story was a pleasure to work on and I really came to love all the characters."

More books by Donald:

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