Meet Penelope’s best friend, Eloise!

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

which is FOREVER!

eloise_001

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.

penelope_calvin_inspiration_colour2

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.

🙂

character_dev_colour02

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!!!

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!!!

cropped-penelope_webimage_revisedstripes001.jpg

Decisions …

After brainstorming for a while, it was time to make some decisions.  If our Penelope was to come alive, she would be a person with characteristics that did not change.  No matter what she did – jumping, sitting, yawning, or climbing – her little self would always keep the same basic proportions and characteristics.

Below, is one page of charts from my sketchbook where I began to work those details out.

penelope_proportions_hr

The drawings are rough and unfinished … but Penelope is starting to take shape 🙂

cropped-penelope_webimage_revisedstripes001.jpg

Designing Penelope: where to begin?

Somewhere in the middle of August, my sister approached me with an idea. She had written a charming children’s book about a little girl named Penelope. What she needed, was a visual world … and an illustrator to make that happen. A sister team. That sounded good … and then it was time to begin. But how?

Tricia Bos | Penelope Bloom © 2013

Tricia Bos | Penelope Bloom © 2013

Sometimes, the only way to start, is to just put the pencil to the paper, and go. That is what I did … and this is the first set of sketches to result. Penelope was to be quite young, an innocent rascal, creative, and impulsive. She has a big heart, big ideas, and very big plans.

A more orderly approach to character design would follow, but for now, it was simply about starting. I admit. I was curious to see who would emerge out of the scribbles … 🙂

cropped-penelope_webimage_revisedstripes001.jpg