Today we’d like to welcome David Soman to Penguin Teen Meet the Illustrator! His latest book, Three Bears in a Boat, is one of our absolute favorites this summer. Whether or not you’re on the beach, you’ll feel like you are after looking at David’s gorgeous blue (Cerulean! Prussian! Ultramarine!) illustrations. David, the illustrator of Ladybug Girl, is a total master of color, and we’re excited for you to find out more about his life as an artist, illustrator, and art historian!
Name: David Soman
Book: Three Bears in a Boat
Date Available: Now available in stores!
What media and materials do you use to create your illustrations?
For Three Bears in a Boat, I used watercolors, colored inks, and colored pencils, but it all began with just a pencil!
What’s your favorite color and why?
Well, this is a hard question! I can’t really say I have a favorite color (the other colors might get jealous!). I guess it changes depending on my mood. For this book, I really liked playing with the color blue. It’s amazing how many kinds of blue the sea and the sky can be. Sometimes the blue is warm and soft (a color called Cerulean blue), sometimes it’s a little greenish (a color called Prussian blue), and sometimes it’s just really rich (a color aptly named Ultramarine blue).
Who’s your favorite artist or illustrator, living or dead and why?
Oh buoy (excuse the boating pun), this is another hard one. I actually am a bit of an art history buff, and in my studio I have a huge bookshelf filled with art books. But for this book, I looked at the paintings of Winslow Homer and Joaquim Sorrolla for the seascapes, and Richard Scarry’s and Maurice Sendak’s picture books for the bears. And Elizabeth Zwerger, always Elizabeth Zwerger.
Where do you do your work?
I work in a studio up the hill from my house. It’s close enough to go to work in my pajamas, but far enough so that I can’t keep going to the refrigerator to eat more cake (phew!)
Aside from the text of Three Bears in a Boat, where did you find inspiration for your illustrations?
Some of my favorite childhood memories are the times I spent at the beach on Fire Island; long open days of wind and sun and the sound of the waves. And sometimes (but not enough!) we would go out in little sunfish boats, skipping across the water in the bay.
Also, I grew up across the street from the Museum of Natural History, and spent a lot of time looking up at the Alaskan Brown Bear in the North American wing.
Order Three Bears in a Boat.
Check out David’s artwork from the Ladybug Girl series here.