A child’s Easter greeting

If Penelope were to make a drawing for us for Easter

what would it look like?

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I figure it might be pretty simple:  Easter eggs, and smiles!

Then again, who knows.  If she were feeling particularly imaginative, almost anything could end up on the paper … 😉

But for now, here is an Easter smile and a hope that you all found lots of chocolate this weekend.

And good luck with the sugar rush!

Penelope Bloom: We can FLY!

It’s a fairly common misconception amongst adults, that humans are unable to fly, unassisted.

Children know differently…

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Especially when there is a big pile of  leaves to land on.

Junjie, Eloise, and Penelope Bloom find adventure in every season.

What memories of fall do you have?

Penelope Bloom: Summer Camping

You know that moment when everything stands still…

when only the waves whisper alongside the gentle murmur of the evening breeze…

and the stars glimmer in the dark as the sun sets on the painted horizon?

These things I love about camping.

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Penelope Bloom is doing what I love to do.

Standing in silence, she takes it all in.

It’s amazing how the majesty of nature can calm the energy of a child. In this moment, Penelope remembers all of the fun she had playing during her busy day. She wonders on how such a busy place could now be so peaceful. Contemplating it all, she stores it up as a treasured memory.

~Tricia Bos

What inspires you?

The winter Olympics are over now, but boy were they fun to watch when they were happening!

The athletes of every nation are so inspiring, they make me want to try many of the amazing things they are able to do … (this year I decided I might want to try hockey … lol).

Near the end of the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Janna and I wondered what Penelope and her friends might be doing in response to the inspirational athletics they were watching.  We decided that they would most likely join in, with great imagination and enthusiasm, and that it might look a little like this  …

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Dream big dreams!  These three sure do!

Sketch anywhere!

I never know when I’m going to get an idea that I need to remember … which is why I like to take my sketchbook everywhere I go.

Sometimes, however, I forget to bring it along.  That’s when it’s time to get creative.  Thankfully, most places will have something to write on, even if it is just a serviette.

Just a little while ago, I was out for lunch with some friends.  If you’ve ever been to Montana’s, then you know how it is:  a whole table covered in fresh kraft paper to doodle on!

So here is a little idea brought to life with a purple crayon on the table covering at a Montana’s somewhere in southern Ontario.

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It’s not perfect, but it’s the start of something cute …

Sketching Junjie

Junjie, as one of Penelope and Eloise’ close friends, will end up in many stories and pictures in our books.

Before drawing scenes to illustrate our book, I like to spend time getting to know the characters.  I’ve done that with Penelope and Eloise so far, and now I’m doing that with Junjie.

I do this by drawing him (all of them, in fact) in as many positions, activities, and scenarios as I can imagine.

It’s a lot of fun to do, and it helps me build a history and rich personality for each character (besides the one that they were each created to have).

Below is an example from my sketchbook of some exploratory drawings of Junjie.  As I draw, I become familiar with how he stands, sits, and moves … which allows me to focus more on the imaginative settings in the story .

Getting something right, often means a lot of repetition and practice!

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Junjie in colour

Penelope is blonde and wears a lot of pink.  Eloise has curly black hair and mostly wears green.  What colours would Junjie have?

I think, there will be a variety of colours with Junjie.  He will often be pictured with his trusty magnifying glass in the future … and his is a truly scientific mind.  I think his colours will tend to change with his goals and pursuits :).

As for his eyes, I thought hazel would be nice …

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New Years Eve Party!

Janna and I were talking the other day, thinking about Penelope and Eloise.  We wondered how they might bring in the New Year, and we concluded that it would most definitely be with style!!!

So, without further ado, we captured the moment … Penelope and Eloise, dancing up a storm, resplendent in their old lady dresses, huge pearl necklaces, and large floral hats.  They KNOW they look good, but more importantly, they are having the time of their lives.

We hope 2014 brings many blessings, and much joy to your lives!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Winter wonderland

What is your favorite snow based activity?

One of my favorite childhood memories is of playing in the backyard at nighttime with my siblings, building snow forts. It was a magical experience.  It didn’t matter how much or how little snow there was… we were in a world of our own making, far from the normal of everyday life.

Penelope and Eloise’s world is equally mysterious and beautiful.  In their eyes, the house seems to appear far away, but in reality, it is much closer. The stars gleam as if caught up in their adventure….

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We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and wish you a wonderful New Year’s Eve!

May you also have many exciting and meaningful adventures!

Merry Christmas .. from Penelope and Eloise

These little ladies know how to get things done.  Enthusiasm and excitement fill the air as Penelope and Eloise help decorate the Christmas tree.  It is going to look amazing!

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May your holiday be joyous and special – full of love and family and friends :).

BFF’s

Now that Eloise is designed, it’s time to see what the dynamics of her friendship with Penelope will look like.

The writing will determine most of that of course, but there are subtleties in body language and activity that will speak volumes.  Although it is time to begin serious work on the illustrations for the book, it will always be important to explore these characters more fully.  They are as deep and as complex as you and I.

penelope_eloise_dance002What I most like to keep, in any drawing, is a feeling of energy, or life.  Sometimes that quality lies in the line work, other times in the colour, and yet other times, in the texture.  Sometimes, it is found in all three.  Each drawing needs to satisfy the eyes and the soul in some way.

Meet Penelope’s best friend, Eloise!

Penelope and Eloise have been best friends for as long as they can remember …

which is FOREVER!

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They share the same sense of bold adventure, curiosity, and mischief.

Eloise, like Penelope, wears a tutu and has a big bow in her hair.  But Eloise is also a princess warrior!  She carries her bow and arrows around with her wherever she can, because you never know when you might need them….

Creating Penelope’s world

In order to draw scenes for our book, “Penelope Bloom AND THE NASTY, GHASTLY, DREADFUL SMELL”, I’ve had to envision Penelope in a variety of different settings.

Gradually imagining these places is much more fun than creating them all in a hurry. As such, I’ve spent the past few weeks dreaming up her environment. I am excited to delve into this process further as I create all sorts of places for Penelope and her friends to explore.

This scene is inspired by the many antics of one of my favorite comic strip characters, Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.

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Further Explorations of Character Design

I’d decided Penelope’s basic proportions. Now it was time to try her out in various positions, activities, and moods.

In the sketchbook drawing below, I tested my basic concept of Penelope to see if her proportions would work sitting down, crossing her arms, and jumping in the air.  I wanted to be able to exaggerate her proportions on a case by case basis (foreshortened and detailed feet with toes … bigger shoulders for a hunched up look when crossing arms) and was pleased with the result.

Next, Janna and I decided upon a hairstyle to match her character.  Wild, carefree, stubborn, and loveable…her hair became an expressive part of her design.  I wanted it to look generally the same, but be able to use it to indicate her mood and tell a story.

🙂

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This drawing of Penelope is much closer to the final design, only her hair would be simplified over the next little bit.

This is also the first drawing of Penelope with her bunny and puppy (Snowflake).

But I still had questions. How would she look in her different environments.  What would her house look like? How tall should she be in comparison to its front steps? How should I design her bedroom?

And what about the rest of her family? How should the rest of the Bloom family appear?

Very exciting!!!

Treasure!

There’s always something new to discover … if we open our minds to see.

And,

parent to child, friend to friend, culture to culture, we have much to share.  We’re never to old or too young to teach and explore together.

Penelope Bloom | Tricia Bos © 2013

Penelope Bloom | Tricia Bos © 2013

It’s a marvelous and beautiful world we live in!

Her ongoing mission, to explore strange new worlds …

Every little girl imagines.

Every little girl is a princess in many wonderful, custom-made realities of her own.

It doesn’t really matter where she finds herself:  she can enter those places from her backyard,  the attic above the garage, her bedroom; even the classroom she’s supposed to be paying attention in …

Penelope has many such wonderful places.  The forest near her house is one of them.   When she and her bunny (and puppy of course) set out, there’s no telling what sorts of adventures will befall.

Penelope Bloom | Tricia Bos © 2013

Penelope Bloom | Tricia Bos © 2013

And anyways, it’s always a good day to do something exciting with your friends!!!

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