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!

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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First thought’s on “Junjie”

The third of our irrepressible little trio is a boy, named Junjie.

Yesterday, I began to work out what he might look like, and how he and the girls might relate.

This is a first sketch … and I like it so far.

Pictured below are two stages of a drawing;  first, the blue pencil drawing (it’s an erasable animation pencil), and second, the drawing after I’ve scanned and altered it on the computer so that it is an outline only, ready for colour to be painted on in a layer below the drawing.

I haven’t quite decided on his colours yet …

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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 :).

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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