Monthly Archives: June 2011

Pirates cover

Here are 2 rough sketch ideas for the cover, the tight sketch, the color sketch and the painting in progress. Pirates Go To School is available tomorrow! 

Pirates hit the bookshelves

Ahoy, cullies—Pirates Go To School is finally in all the quality bookstores!  If any of you happen to be putting villages to th’ torch and sword over in Massachusetts, why not drop anchor during author Corinne Demas’ book signing events? Here’s a handy schedule for you to tattoo on your forearms:

Friday, July 8th   10:30 am
Reading from Pirates Go to School
Story Hour for Kids
Wellfleet Public Library
55 West Main Street
Wellfleet, MA

Thursday, July 14th   4-6 pm
Booksigning for Pirates Go To School
Wellfleet Marine Corp.
25 Holbrook Ave.
Wellfleet, Ma. 02667


Tuesday, July 26th   10 am – 12 pm
Booksigning for Pirates Go To School
Brewster Bookstore
2648 Main Street
Brewster, MA

Wednesday, July 27th
Pirate’s Go to School Story Hour & Booksigning
Where The Sidewalk Ends Bookstore
432 Main Street
Chatham, MA 02633

Saturday, September 10th   11:00 am
Event for Pirates Go To School
The Elephant’s Trunk Children’s Bookshop
1764 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA 02420

Pirate kids

Here are the character designs for Pirates Go To School.  I originally envisioned the pirates as grownups, attending a school that looked like a pirate ship.  After seeing the initial sketches, Ken, the art director, asked me to draw them as pirate kids—attending a normal elementary school.


Pirates at storytime

Pirates Go To School drops anchor in bookstores next Friday!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the illustration process, so let’s review.  I draw rough thumbnail sketches, design the characters, gather visual reference, draw beautiful sketches based on the thumbnails, paint a color script then finally paint the final illustrations.

Here’s the storytime scene.  I wonder if my friends at Farmersville Elementary School will recognize their library?

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Summer reading in Oil City

Hey, what are you doing Tuesday June 28th at 10:30? Please come join me at the Oil City Library for their One World, Many Stories summer reading program.  I’ll be reading and drawing and painting and maybe even singing.

More ART!

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Some really big letters

When you come up the stairs to the second floor of the National Transit Building (where us artists are) you’re greeted with gorgeous woodwork and beige walls.  It looks office-building-ish.

And so we’re letting everyone know in a big, big way that they’ve stepped into an art environment.  The walls got a coat of lavender paint last Saturday from Ally, Maureen, Suzette, Linda & Anyssa.  Christina is holding the chalk line thinghy, which she used to snap out a big grid on the wall. We’ve chosen an old wood font from the 19th century because it goes with the building and has mostly straight lines—easy to tape.  We’ve only got ‘A’ & ‘R’ up so far.  To come soon: ‘T!’

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Some character sketches

It’s been a busy place around here.  I’m painting 2 books and my bookshelf/storage cabinet project is finally finished. April & May were full of many fun visits to elementary schools and a couple of literacy conferences. Luckily I have an intern this summer, so we’re able to handle more work than I can accomplish by myself.

As well as stapling, tracing and blocking in paintings, Christina scanned in some old character sketches that were lying around and needed to be filed.

These are from Humphrey, Albert & the Flying Machine.  The story takes place within the classic Sleeping Beauty tale.  To accentuate that 100 years have passed (while the entire castle sleeps) Briar Rose wears a renaissance costume at the beginning of the story and wears an 18th century wedding dress at the end—and yes, that’s more like 300 years difference in costume styles.  Humphrey, Albert, and Dad are dressed in renaissance era and Daniel is 18th century.