My friend Steven Piperno and his wife Katie have been writing and performing their delightful songs for kids (and their grownups) for years now, since before their own kids were born. Their upbeat sing-and-dance-along songs teach good lessons too, and are heavily inspired by the antics of their own kids. I illustrated the cover of their first CD Are You Ready? Here We Go! a few years back, and was happy when Steve called to get me to draw something for their second CD Smile. I first looked at the songlist for this CD and pencil-sketched some ideas for the cover:
The first sketch was for the song If I Had a Farm, the second for I Love Trains, the third for Smile. Steve went with the third, since we figured we could flip the image and the animal parade could then be continued onto the back cover of the CD. I roughed out the design, leaving room for the songlist and other info on the back:
I then tightened up the drawing and made a marker color sketch –
– and then transferred the drawing to illustration board and started painting with acrylic washes:
I experimented with some computer-generated color backgrounds to add a little more color. Steven finalized the cover, inserted the extra text, and the CD full of great kids’ music is now available on his site, http://steveandkatie.com/ where you can also hear some of the songs. I highly recommend it for young children!