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!