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.

montanas_drawing

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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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 …

junjie_blue_001 junjie_ghost001

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!

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.

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

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