Last month on Easter Sunday we were the sponsors at the baptism of our friends' baby boy, Jacob. As a gift Jennifer picked up a children's picture Bible called the See With Me Bible, illustrated by Dennis Jones. I was blown away by the quality of his work.
Jones' style is lush, whimsical, and filled with humor. The Bible stories are told solely through the illustrations with no accompanying text except for a short one-sentence message at the end of each story.
The most notable feature of the illustration work are the character designs. Each character depiction is unique and easily identifiable, from Adam and Eve, Noah, and Moses through Jesus and the Disciples. They're all painted with exaggerated poses and features, each with their own subtle nuances.
While the exaggerated characters are what make the work so appealing, I found the depiction of Jesus to be a little over-the-top. He looks too much like a comic book super hero.1
Jones paints in gauche and post-processes the illustrations in Photoshop, adding a few digital effects like depth of field blur.
Many of the illustrations from the book are available online as prints. I may have to pick up a few.
I struggle with our Westernized stereotypical image of Jesus. While we can only guess at what Jesus looked like we do know he wasn't a white guy. This is a topic not easily resolved, especially, I imagine, when trying to publish a children's book. ↩