Moon of the Wild Pigs

I created this series of pastel and colored pencil illustrations for my first children's book:Moon of the WIld Pigs, by Jean Craighead George for a new hardback edition published by HarperCollins in 1993.

I do not use this medium anymore, partly due to the extremely time-consuming technique, and partly because I was developing lung problems from all the fixative I had to use. It was beautiful to work with though. I put down many thin layers of pastel dust with a brush, much like using layers in oil painting--at some number of layers, the colors began to glow. Each layer had to be fixed before the next one was put on, hence the gas mask that I wore towards the end of the project.

For some reason, I decided to avoid using water of any kind for these pieces. Maybe because they were all about the desert.

I loved working on this. It was all about the Sonoran Desert environment around my home in Tucson, Arizona, and gave me a reason to spend a lot of time exploring the details of the desert just outside of town. I quit my staff job around this time to become a full-time illustrator.

desert spiny lizard and mammilaria cactus

Desert spiny lizard and mammilaria cactus

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