France Sketches: Le Potager du Prince

The Potager du Prince is an adorable interactive garden/museum in Chantilly that lies on the remainder of the grand garden that served the castle. Here most of the food for the nobility residing, or visiting, the castle was grown or raised. We had a wonderful up-close view of rabbits, goats, pidgeons, chickens, and many different fruits and vegetables. It’s the sort of museum that I love to draw in!

2015_06_Potager

2015_06_Potager 2

France Sketches: Prix de Diane

Woefully, this post has more interesting links in photos than it does sketches. The Prix de Diane is a horserace, the equivalent of the Kentucky Derby in the US. It is a wonderful opportunity for women to show off their hats. It’s also in Chantilly, one of the most beautiful (and horse-centric) towns in France.

2015_06_Prix de Diane 1

2015_06_Prix de Diane 2

I was able to sketch some of the race horses as they cooled down, walking, post-race. The crowd at this is intense! We walked a couple of miles through dust with a toddler in a stroller for the opportunity to down chablis and sandwiches in the hot sun. You know what? It was WORTH IT.

France Sketches: Chantilly Interior

I’ve been working on this sketch for about six months now, I started it in December 2014, and continued it on this last trip in June. It’s a bit of a relief that this room doesn’t change too much, and yet at the same time I am challenged to make alterations that are both honest to the source and to what I found charming about the composition in the first place.

2015_06_Chantilly interior

click to enlarge

When I showed it to her, my mother-in-law asked me if I liked to do comics. Yes! Yes I do. :) Coming from the French, who take their comics very seriously, I consider that quite a compliment.

Montessori Children

I got the chance to sit in on a Montessori class the other day, and enjoyed drawing the toddlers pouring water all over the place. When they focus their faces become limp and their bodies move with a determination that is unlike their movements otherwise. It is darling to watch, may we all have that concentration!

2015_8_Montessori 4

2015_8_Montessori 3

2015_8_Montessori 2

2015_8_Montessori 1

Ink Sketches: Inwood Hill Park in Snow

I’ve been fortunate to live across the street from a park for the majority of my life in New York City. First Grammercy Park, then Monsignor McGolick park, and now Inwood Hill park. The hill happens to be prominent from our windows and it is beautiful in every season.

2015_02_Inwood Hill Park Snow

click to enlarge

Paris Rooftop Adventure Sketches

Charles Marville photographed Paris as it was converting to boulevards and grand buildings, and the photos he took show us what was left of a ancient city turned medieval city turned modern city…breathtakingly romantic and festering at the same time.

2015_01_Marville

The drawing above was from one of his photographs that I can’t seem to find now, but you get the idea of the light and darks of the narrow streets, and the deteriorating buildings. You’ll find such narrow streets in the Marais area of Paris still, but the rest of the city has wide streets with grand buildings which replace what would have been many streets back in the day.

2015_01_rabbit chase rooftops

It was this setting whose rooftops were the initial inspiration for all those rooftop rabbit paintings!

Paris Rooftop Adventure 3

Children's Book project - Paris Rooftop Adventure image 3

Children’s Book project – Paris Rooftop Adventure image 3

We made it to the top of the roof! Just in time to watch the sun set. Gosh…now how do we get down?

Paris Rooftop Adventure 2

Children's Book project - Paris Rooftop Adventure image 2

Children’s Book project – Paris Rooftop Adventure image 2

Continuing my little daydream about chasing a rabbit over the rooftops of Paris, this is what happens after you work up the courage to jump out that window!

Click to enlarge.

Paris Rooftop Adventure 1

Children's Book project - Paris Rooftop Adventure image 1

Children’s Book project – Paris Rooftop Adventure image 1

After my last trip to France I kept daydreaming of rooftops and chimneys, so now I’m working on a Children’s Book project about a boy afraid of heights chasing his grandmother’s escaped rabbit across the rooftops of Paris. Now, let’s just pretend that there is no gravity and no danger and that nobody ever falls, ok?!

Click to enlarge.

Midwest Rendition of Snow White, revisited

Midwest rendition of Snow White

Midwest rendition of Snow White

The first version of this is here. The feedback I had gotten from Paul O. Zelinsky at the 2014 SCBWI Winter Conference was very useful, and in this version I expanded the background substantially.

In the following few illustrations I’ve done, I’ve been paying more attention to the edges–it’s a opportunity to make things interesting!