A different style of drawing …

Halloween has come and gone – even if the candy is still sticking around!

When thinking about the feel of the world Penelope inhabits, my mind often changes, based on the type of thing Penelope might be up to, or how I imagine it might look or feel to her and her friends …

Halloween is ghostly.  It’s a bit magical.  The streets are transformed, from safe and predictable, to spooky and unpredictable.

Inverted, one might even say …

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Here, the kids stand, bathed in the glow of another open doorway.  Or maybe the glow is reflected off the treasure they’ve come to collect?  The kids themselves are re-made, their identities fluid and ephemeral, like the drawings they spent so much time sketching out weeks earlier as they eagerly anticipated and planned their Halloween alter-ego adventures …

Penelope Bloom’s Scary Campfire Story

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Penelope peered at her friends through the crackling flames with a mischievous grin. “Once upon a time,” she lowered her voice, “there was a dark, dark forest.”

Gripping the hands of her chair, Eloise’s eyes widened with fear and anticipation.

“And inside the forest,” Penelope spread her arms wide, “there was a dark…,” she paused for effect, “dark tree.”

Above their heads, a large maple swayed, its limbs black next to the starlit sky.

“You can’t scare me!” scoffed Junjie.

She leaned closer. “And in the tree, was a dark,” she lingered on the word, “dark nest.”

“Ohh!” Eloise covered her mouth with a trembling hand.

Overhead, a branch creaked.

Junjie’s eyes shot toward the sound. “Nothing but a bird, I bet.”

“And in that nest,” Penelope’s words barely rose above a whisper, “there was a dark, dark….” Her body tensed.

Eloise and Junjie hung on her every word.

The pounding waves filled their silence.

“BOO!”

Eloise shrieked.

Junjie almost fell out of his chair.

Penelope giggled. “Gotcha!”

Their laughter carried across their campsite.

“My turn,” said Eloise.

They quieted.

“Once upon a time….”

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!

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.

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!