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

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

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!

2015 Winter SCBWI

Vitus_5x7_postcard_web

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!

Commission for Karen

Karen contacted me for a very special Father’s Day commission for a trio of lovely individuals: her husband, son, and their beagle. Her son adores his daddy, and loves the romping outdoorsy aspect of summer. I think we have a farmer on our hands with his love for daddy’s ‘tractor’ (Lawnmower) and barns! I produced 3 roughs for Karen to choose from, below.

Click on images to enlarge.

Rough_1

Rough_3

Rough_2

She went with one of the more fantastical ones, much to my delight!

Finish_lores

Here are a few close-ups:

Closeup2

Closeup1

Thank you, Karen! What a wonderful family you have!

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.

IMAG1327

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

IMAG1328

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!