Penelope Bloom: We can FLY!

It’s a fairly common misconception amongst adults, that humans are unable to fly, unassisted.

Children know differently…

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Especially when there is a big pile of  leaves to land on.

Junjie, Eloise, and Penelope Bloom find adventure in every season.

What memories of fall do you have?

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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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!

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.