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"Behind the book"

A behind-the-scenes video detailing the process of writing and illustrating Home in the Woods.


Eliza Wheeler is an illustrator and author of books for kids, teens, and the young at heart. Her book Miss Maple’s Seeds was a NYT bestseller, and her book Home in the Woods was dubbed “Gorgeous” by the New York Times book review. Eliza is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Behind the ‘ROSA’ Art: Vienna Research

July 8, 2024

A behind-the-scenes look into the art-making process for ‘What Rosa Brought’ When it comes to illustrating a specific location and time period, I go a bit OTT in the research phase. ‘What Rosa Brought’ takes place in Vienna in 1938-1939, and I while I would have loved to have been able to travel there in person as I did for ‘John Ronald’s Dragons: Story of J.R.R. Tolkien’, it wasn’t possible logistically and financially to get to Vienna while working on this book, so I had to find alternate ways to do visual research. The art features many scenes around the city,…

‘What ROSA Brought’: Endpapers

July 3, 2024

A behind-the-scenes look into the art-making process for ‘What Rosa Brought’ The endpapers of a picture book are the first thing a reader sees when opening the book and the last thing before closing it. (They’re the pages of paper that are glued down to the cover board and connect to the book’s pages.) Depending on the printing process, the endpapers might be a solid piece of colored paper or they might have a design printed on them. In either case, they introduce the vibe of the book and can also be a place to begin and end the story. With…

‘ROSA’ Art Walkthrough

April 24, 2024

It’s always fun to see the progression of art from start to finish, and I love being able to share all the work that goes into each page of a picture book. Here’s a walkthrough of one of my favorite pieces for ‘WHAT ROSA BROUGHT’, by author Jacob Sager Weinstein about his mother’s childhood story of escaping the Nazis in Vienna in 1938-9. Before revisiting my art process for this page, I had forgotten that this was my original layout (in blue) for the thumbnail/storyboard sketches. This scene is a KEY MOMENT in the story, when Rosa is considering what…

Making the ‘ROSA’ Art: Colors

March 26, 2024

Another ‘Behind-the-scenes’ peak into the art-making process for ‘What Rosa Brought’, and one of my favorite stages of book design – creating the color palette. I could spend a year painting nothing but color swatches!  The first step to inspiring the colors was to draw from historic photos, 1930’s art, photos of Vienna, and other book artists color palettes that I loved (shown: Felicita Sala, Janet Hill, Laura Carlin). I start digitally in Procreate. Then the fun part…finding the hues in watercolor, honing in on which tubes of pain I’ll use and how they mix together. I separate these into light,…