Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 28, 2011

Illustrator Saturday – Eric Sailer

Eric Sailer is originally from Bucks County Pennsylvania and is now residing in New York City. He went to the University of Delaware and graduated with a BFA in Visual Communications with a concentration in illustration.

He’s been a member of the SCBWI for over a year now and is working on getting his first book published. He draws  political cartoons for an online publication named “Smithtown Matters” and also  been freelancing the past three years.  His clients include the Philadelphia Inquirer and Grid Magazine.   If you are attending the conference keep an eye out for Eric and look for his illustration in the art exhibit.

Here’s Eric:

For process, I draw much inspiration from the comic medium and line art. I work in ink with pen, brush, and random items. I then use watercolor and the occasional gouache. What is most important to me is to capture the moment and let it be spontaneous. I like lots of energy and humor. For a story idea, I rarely research first. I get the story down on paper as fast as possible using my imagination. Once I have a solid idea in place, I start fleshing out main ideas in my story and go to researching.

I find that I am always trying to balance having a spontaneous, loose drawing against a detailed, well rendered drawing. I avoid tracing researched items as much as possible (because it’s plain boring). Nonetheless, I find it immeasurably useful to research what I am drawing. After gathering references, I sketch until I get a good penciled sketch.

From there, I use a lightbox to draw over the pencil sketch to make an ink drawing. I use washes to give me a gray tone study. If I like it, I scan it and print out the study onto printer paper.

I use the lightbox again to draw the line work. When drawing over it, I am not able to see the picture entirely, but get a sense of where everything should go. That helps keep the drawing loose. If I don’t like the drawing, I will draw it again until I like it.

Lastly is the watercolor. I paint opaquely so most of the color I want should be down in the first wash.

I go back in too sometimes with some ink detail some things. That’s pretty much the end result.

Here is some of Eric’s Comic Work.

Hope you enjoyed visiting with Eric. He is someone to keep an eye on. To see more visit:

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I love seeing the faces behind the names (and artwork, of course!) Great stuff!


  2. It’s cool to see the steps Eric makes his illustrations.


  3. I agree with Donna “thiskidreviews.” Great work!


  4. Great post again. I just love Illustrator Saturday. Thanks.


  5. Hi I have a book that was signed by Kelley Mitchell an Eric W Sailer an Exlibris I don’t know who that is it a Doonesbury greatest hit I’d like to know what it’s worth thank you


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