After years of domination by coloured pen-and-ink drawings, painting has definitely made a comeback amongst the younger generation of Dutch illustrators. Bang Mannetje (Scaredy Cat) by first-time children’s author Mathilde Stein and illustrator Mies van Hout was tipped for the top as last year’s most beautiful picture book.
Van Hout uses dazzling pastels to depict the story of a boy who doesn’t dare to wear his favourite flowery trousers because he’s scared that people might laugh at him. She subtly gives depth to her gouaches by sometimes turning them into collages using her own material. Her work combines the good points of drawing with the good points of painting and the good points of collage: solid lines, warm colours, sharpness and depth. The result is a unique style with a clear identity.
Pjotr van Lenteren