Commission: The Penguin Proposal

I’m very happy to post this delightful engagement commission! These two got engaged at the Mystic Aquarium, as witnessed by one of their penguins in a special, behind-the-scenes Penguin encounter that the groom arranged. The mother of the bride commissioned this work based on their enjoyment of all things penguin.The happy couple got married this weekend, and I wish them two lifetimes of happiness together!

Penguin Commission for Melanie Gaudet Grossi

Click to enlarge.

Here are some close-ups.

 

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Penguin Commission for Melanie Gaudet Grossi

 

 

Penguin Commission for Melanie Gaudet Grossi

France Sketches: Senlis

Senlis is a truly beautiful town in France, not far from Paris, that has a delightful medieval downtown area. I’ve drawn it before, in 2011:

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but this was my first opportunity to stand in one spot for an hour.

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Click to enlarge

Senlis has beautiful, unique examples of tudor-era architecture that you can’t find elsewhere. It’s often used in films to capture the claustrophobic feeling of medieval streets.

This was the spot: IMAG4286

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.

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.

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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.

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

2015 Winter SCBWI

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I’ll be at the Winter SCBWI conference starting tomorrow with the Illustrator’s intensive, I sure hope you’ll stop me and say hi if you see me!

Lettering: Anna Banana Sleep Tight

There is an adorable French series of children’s books called “Ana Ana” by Alexis Dormal and First Second Books is doing the English translations.

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These books are so adorable I will go ahead and call them ‘adorbs’. They are… they are simply totes adorbs, my peeps.

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And I had the very great pleasure of doing the lettering for this book! You can see my best Boings below, pre-cleanup. Many Boings went into making this book. Boings abound.

Boing Boing Boing web

Anna Banana Sleep Tight comes out in June, enjoy it at bedtime and any other time!

Rabid Rabbit comic: A Tale of Toads and Diamonds

This comic was for a “Fairy Tale” based Rabid Rabbit, issue #11. It was based on a French fairy tale, a classic morality approach, “Be nice, you’ll get a prince!”

Rabid Rabbit Comic: The Cat Who Became The Head Forester

This story was for Rabid Rabbit 10, “Kitty, Kitty”. I was reading a book of Russian fairy tales at the time and it was a tie between this one and one where a 9 year old drunkard kills an entire army and seduces the Tzar’s daughter. Incidentally, most of those tales ended in, “It was all true, I was there, I drank at their wedding but all of it ran down into my beard and I didn’t get a drop.”

Rabid Rabbit: Horror

Rabid Rabbit #9 was “Horror” and a great opportunity for me to get into an irrational fear of mine: sharks.