My Scout Card for ‘Crossing Over’ from Cub to Scout

I have added to my line of Boy Scout congratulations cards – the two I have drawn for Eagle Scouts are quite popular sellers on my Etsy page – by drawing a whimsical illustration for young cub scouts who are making their ‘Crossing Over Ceremony’ from Cub Scouts into full Boy Scouts. I’ll add, the card is inspired by my two grandsons, who made their Crossing Over into Scouts. I’m very proud of them and their friends, who have completed their work as a Cub and want to further their knowledge and experience in BSA.

In my whimsical drawing style, I drew a friendly adult Eagle, in scout troop leader uniform, waving 3 happy little eagles across a footbridge in the great outdoors. This mirrors the Crossing Over Ceremony that young scouts go through when they ‘cross over the bridge’ from Cubs to Boy Scouts.

I first pencilled in a sketch of the scene –

I tightened up the drawing, scanned it & colored a printout roughly to work out the colors –

– and then transferred the drawing to illustration board, outlined in ink and painted it in with acrylic washes.

To see the finished card, inside message, and all other info and for purchasing, please see my Etsy shop HERE.

A fan of my cards who is a troop leader reviewed them this way: “These cards are exceptionally unique and well drawn. The messages are well thought out and brief, a good thing. I always add a personal message to the card as well, and there is room to do that. These are beautiful cards and an inspiration to the scouts receiving them.”

Illustrating “Robbie to the Rescue!” Part 2

To read Part 1 of this process click HERE.

Once I had drawn all the pages of Laurie Nowlan’s Robbie to the Rescue! as pencil sketches, I scanned all the drawings and colored them in roughly so both the author and I could see the placement of color throughout the book.

Early on when Laurie and I discussed her main characters, we had decided there should be some little bits of clothing to humanize Robbie and his older brother Ben. Laurie liked having Ben wear a baseball cap, and perhaps big sneakers for Robbie, to make him look smaller and younger and maybe a little clumsier than his older brother. In initial sketches I had given them orange and red jackets, thinking they’d stand out in green foliage – then when I started doing pages I realized it was autumn in the story and the leaves would be those colors. So I switched their jackets to blue and green.

The story has a number of scenes that take place during a rainstorm so I tried to vary the spreads between pages that bled off the sides and vignettes where there was white space around the illustrations, as well as full double page spreads where it was warranted, to keep the scenes from looking too similar.

Laurie suggested that the storm scenes should stay very blue and gray, so that at the end of the story when there are beach scenes, the change to sunny warmth would really be apparent to the reader. I agree it worked really well.

After this stage I started painting finished art for the book. I’ll write more about that, and about developing the cover art, in Part 3.

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“Robbie to the Rescue!” is available now through BookBaby HERE.

Illustrating “Robbie to the Rescue!” Part 1

I recently completed illustrating a new children’s picture book, written by Laurie Nowlan, Robbie to the Rescue! It’s a lovely story about brother robins and how they help each other through the younger brother’s first southern migration. I think it’s a very good sibling story, with lots of touches that happen between real brothers and sisters, so many children will relate to it.

I first spoke at length with the author about how she imagined the characters and the flow of the story. Laurie is a retired teacher and has been writing for a long time so she had already given this much thought. I di some black and white and color sketches of the brother birds and more or less used them as my prototypes when developing the page art – although you’ll see some colors changed.

With the author’s suggestions I laid out the text and drew pencil sketches for each double page spread. I drew a very loose pagination, which just helps me visualize a variety of page setups before I design, like this –

Then I drew pencils of each spread like these samples.

I’ll explain the next steps in the process in my next post.

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“Robbie to the Rescue!” is available now through BookBaby HERE.

My Cartoon on the New Yorker site today

Heard by teachers around the country this week:

“What I did this summer, this spring, this winter, last fall, the previous summer . . .”

Found at: https://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/daily-cartoon/tuesday-september-14th-what-i-did-this-summer

Free Coloring Book for Children

Last year I created some artwork for Mike DeSantis’ CPA website and in the process Mike introduced the idea of using a little cartoon of his dog as a friendly mascot for the business. Mike had used “Bart the dog” as a fun part of his business before, telling long-time clients that Bart helped around the office – he even gave Bart a phone extension on the menu!

After the pandemic hit, Mike searched for an idea that could honor the workers in healthcare and also help children through a worrisome time in their young lives. In thinking about the Bart cartoons on his website, he came up with the idea of a coloring book for youngsters that would teach safety tips on staying germ-free during flu season. The book, called “Keep the Germs Away,” is dedicated to all the doctors, nurses, hospital workers and first responders who risk their lives on the front lines to help others, and I drew the illustrations.

Mike has donated 100 copies of the book to Doylestown Hospital’s Children’s Village. Each coloring page has a simple suggestion supporting good hygiene for children, and features Bart the Dog, the friendly mascot of DeSantis & Co., P.C. The director of Children’s Village, Teri Windisch, said of the gift, “Our kids and families loved the “Keep Germs Away” coloring book from Mike. What a great way to reinforce what they have learned during this tough time!”  The coloring book is also available to anyone for free download from Mike’s website www.descpa.biz and he’s allowed me to put it on my site too, free on this page HERE. So get out your markers and sharpen up your pencils!

Poster art for The Sorcerer Musical, opening in July

Every year I design the poster for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s musical comedy, and last year because of lockdowns we had to postpone the event. I’m happy to say the group is back in business this season and they will produce what would have been last year’s show, since the whole cast wanted to reassemble and perform it – and the show is Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Sorcerer. It will be performed LIVE, with a full live orchestra, on July 16, 17 and 18 in Doylestown. I love the wacky plot of this show, which involves a sorcerer in Victorian England who is asked to create a love potion of which an entire town unwittingly partakes, with chaotic and comic results. It strikes me as typical Gilbert & Sullivan silliness that instead of a cauldron like witches traditionally use to brew potions, this very proper Society Sorcerer’s potion is steeped along with a pot of tea.

I was lucky to be at an early costume fitting for the actor playing the title role, so I took photos of him in costume for reference when drawing, and the prop staff even had the large teapot that will be in the show on hand. I knew the kind of pose I wanted for the figure and started with pencil sketches –

I put some rough color on the sketched figure and placed him on the poster page, with the text that will go around him, and drew in the background roughly with a digital gradation, markers & colored pencils, to get a rough design of the page.

I refined my line drawing of the figure and did more detail on the digital color –

I worked on the title logotype next, to shape it around the sorcerer’s arm & umbrella. I used a fun typeface called “Island of Misfit Toys, ” although I played with the letter shapes a bit, stretching and adding some curls, to give it a consistent feel of whimsy.

I drew the cloud emanating from the teapot digitally and put the figure in place –

and then dropped in the title logotype and added some more magical swashes and particles circling the Sorcerer and the cloud, for the finished art.

The singers and musicians of Bucks Gilbert & Sullivan are busy rehearsing now and are thrilled to be back onstage live, with the full Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Orchestra accompanying them. I recommend everyone comes to The Sorcerer, performed at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA, to enjoy this fun show! Tickets are on sale now through Eventbrite HERE. And to enhance the audience’s enjoyment of the show, the group provides interesting background info on the show on the website HERE.

Last Chance to Bid on Original New Yorker Cartoon Art

Today (June 4) is the last day of the Cantus Novus auction, and bids are being taken until midnight tonight. Have you taken a look at the items, trips and event tickets HERE?

Cantus Novus is a 40-voice choir that performs beautiful choral music in two annual concerts in the Bucks County area. I’ve donated my original art of a recent New Yorker cartoon, “Student-Teacher Conference,” which appeared in the May 10, 2021 issue of the New Yorker. I drew this cartoon by hand in prisma pencil and ink wash on illustration board, and on the back of the 13″ x13″ frame I’ve attached the printed page of the cartoon from the New Yorker in a plastic sleeve.

I think the topic of the gag cartoon would give a laugh to any teacher, principal or school staff member who receives it as a gift, so consider those end-of-the-year gifts for outstanding teachers!

If you are interested in owning an original drawing that was published in the New Yorker, you can easily register to place a bid. My cartoon is listed HERE and all proceeds go to help fund the extraordinary music created by Cantus Novus.

My New Yorker Cartoon Original Drawing Donated for Auction

In case you missed it in my video interview with realtor Linda Crane, I mentioned that I have donated the framed original art of my recently published New Yorker cartoon to the auction supporting the wonderful choral group Cantus Novus.

This original signed cartoon “Student-Teacher Conference” appeared in the May 10, 2021 issue of the New Yorker. I drew this cartoon by hand in prisma pencil and ink wash on illustration board, and on the back of the 13″ x13″ frame I’ve attached the printed page of the cartoon from the New Yorker in a plastic sleeve.

I think the topic of the gag cartoon would give a laugh to any teacher, principal or school staff member who receives it as a gift!

Bidding is open to the public until June 4, so if you are interested in owning an original drawing that was published in the New Yorker, you can easily register to place a bid. My cartoon is listed HERE and you can take a look at a lot of other auction items, including some terrific vacations, on the site HERE. All proceeds go to help fund the extraordinary music created by this 40-voice Bucks County choir.

A Video Chat About my Cartoons

My friend Linda Crane, a charming and detail-oriented realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach and the Trident Group, has a weekly chat with interesting people in the area, and whether they work in the real estate industry or not she brings along her knowledge and personality to make it a fun exchange.

Linda asked if I’d talk with her a bit about my cartooning, especially selling cartoons to the New Yorker magazine, so we pulled a couple chairs up to the old zoom box and had a conversation.

I tell Linda how I became interested in cartooning and what it’s like submitting sketches to the New Yorker in the video of our chat, below. Linda has more of these fun discussions on her Youtube channel – I invite you to check it out after you listen here.

At the end of our talk I mention the choral group Cantus Novus and their auction in which one of my framed, original New Yorker cartoon drawings will be sold. Cantus Novus’ concert We Rise Again is online today, Friday May 21 starting at 8:00 PM, on their Facebook page. Their online fundraising auction will start at the conclusion of the concert, at approximately 9 pm, and Pat’s New Yorker cartoon is available for bids HERE.  The auction will continue for 2 weeks after the concert, and all proceeds benefit this excellent non-profit choir.

Interesting Typography Blog, with Some Quotes from Me

Along with other designers I was interviewed for a blog on typography, and some of my remarks are cited in the article. I find the whole piece very interesting since it explores the way different designers look at type for commercial purposes. It’s a good read, I recommend it and the blog alphablogger for typography fans. The post is HERE.