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Cathie Bleck
July 2011
"One Hundred Years of Solitude" has arrived!
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Just in time for this heated summer, the book I illustrated for Barnes and Nobles leatherbound series, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is finally out.  I worked with the fabulous and lovely Jo Obarowski for the second time, having illustrated Dante's Divine Comedy a few years back. Marc Burkhardt, fellow Drawger has done several of these books as well-they are beautiful.  Jo again gave me a great deal of freedom to interpret the book and I offered to wrap it around to the backside. I could not see it ending at the spine.  I had read this book years ago and cannot say that is was that easy to follow, but remembered how complex, intertwined and chaotic the characters were in the story.  Definitely, one enters a sort of abyss once trapped in the layers of the novel. 
Here are a few sketches for the project and a few finished details of the book.  I especially was happy with the back cover (why is that always how I feel?) and the interior artwork. 
This series has done fabulously well over the past five years, especially in London.  A nice counter offer to an E book.  The covers in this series have a way of seducing, especially the younger reader into classic literature. Their affordability is commendable when considering how effective they are at drawing young readers in.

There is a beautiful pale green ribbon that cascades through the book that is not pictured in these shots.


The title typeface was suggested by the art director. Of course if this was all left up to the artist, the type would simply just fade away quietly. The spine design changed the most but overall it took about 2-3 sketches to get to this version.

I tend to play around with colors in photoshop as if I am using a paint brush.  Because I really despise working on a computer, I tend not to learn as much as I should.
Here is a work in progress shot. I think overall this work took a few weeks to do the line work. I was visiting NY city for an extended trip, so brought this to work on there. I love working black and white on scratchboard (work on paper) rather than clay board. There is such a difference in intimacy with paper over clay on masonite, though I love to do my color works on the clay board.

Here is the first round of sketches. The back of the book sketch as you can see made it to the cover and that little animal quarrel on the spine ran away. Of course, it took about 10 loose sketches to get to this point, but who is counting? So many endless possibilities for illustrating this incredible story.

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