From his bio: The techniques that give The Snowy Day its unique look—collage with cutouts of patterned paper, fabric and oilcloth; homemade snowflake stamps; spatterings of India ink with a toothbrush—were methods Ezra had never used before. “I was like a child playing,” he wrote of the creation process. “I was in a world with no rules.” After years of illustrating books written by others, Peter had given Ezra a new voice of his own.
In subsequent books, he blended collage with gouache, an opaque watercolor mixed with a gum that produced an oil-like glaze. Marbled paper, acrylics and watercolor, pen and ink and even photographs were among his tools. The simplicity and directness of The Snowy Day gave way to more complex and painterly compositions.
In his evolution from fine artist to children’s book illustrator, Ezra applied influences and techniques that had inspired him as a painter, from cubism to abstraction, within a cohesive, and often highly dramatic, narrative structure. His artwork also demonstrates an enormous emotional range, swinging from exuberant whimsy to deep desolation and back again.