Blaine’s Podcast

I was on Blaine Greenfield’s podcast last night – a delight all around, he’s the Ed Sullivan of the Asheville, NC area!

I fumbled a bit getting my artwork to screenshare, so I’m posting a pdf of some of my New Yorker published-and-rejected cartoons below, so you all can take the full tour I was going to give Blaine. Please scroll through!

(If they appear too small to read, try clicking on the three horizontal lines at top left. All artwork is (c) Pat Achilles, but the first four are (c) The New Yorker.)

Now below is the slideshow I was going to show Blaine of my children’s book illustration, and some illustrations for adult books too. Included are illustrations from The Upside-Down Gardener, Grand Slam Birthday and the Adventures of the Poodle Posse series by Chrysa Smith; Robbie to the Rescue by Laurie Nowlan; Let’s Visit New Hope, by Gayle Goodman and Roy Ziegler; The Book of Jims and Bills! Bills! Bills! by Jim Miller (they are fun books all about famous people thru history named Jim/James or William/Bill, fun to give as a gift to friends of those names), Leading Team Members with Super Powers by Thomas Edwards (a great informational book about working and training neurodiverse employees), and A Woman’s Book of Dirty Words by Mary Fran Bontempo. If you want to purchase any, I believe they are all available on Amazon. (All artwork is (c) Pat Achilles)

This slideshow below shows some of my greeting cards for Eagle Scout events and for the holidays – some are available now on my Etsy shop (click HERE) and some I hope to post there soon. (All artwork is (c) Pat Achilles)

Below are some of the cards I’ve drawn, which Blaine enjoys so much, for Kohlhepp Investment Advisors. (All artwork is (c) Pat Achilles)

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And finally here are my illustrations for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society, a wonderful group of devotees to some of the loveliest, and funniest, operettas ever written. (All artwork is (c) Pat Achilles)

Now you have seen all the things I meant to show Blaine – thanks so much for taking a look. Here’s the link to the half hour of me with Blaine: go to https://www.blainesworld.net/ and look for the podcast dated 11.8.2022 And thanks again to Blaine!

–Pat

My Poster Art for Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Gondoliers’ in June

Every year I design the poster for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s musical comedy, and I’m excited that this year’s show will be one I’ve long enjoyed, The Gondoliers. It has the same wonderful songs and orchestrations as their other shows but with an Italianate flair, which makes the singing even more lyrical. The Gondoliers will be performed with the wonderful Bucks County Gilbert& Sullivan Orchestra accompanying, on June 17, 18 and 19 in Doylestown.

I started with some pencil sketches – at first I thought I’d put the major characters in the gondola and the minor ones running around a canal bridge in the background, but it seemed the minor figures would be too small – they are all great characters, after all.

So I tried packing everyone into the gondola! That worked fine, since the show is kind of a screwball comedy

In looking at reference photos of Venice, the buildings along the Grand Canal seem to glow in the sunlight at times, so I indicated in this rough color sketch how I’d paint them in loosely for the background. The gondola’s shadow in the water would give a lot of room for the necessary text of the poster.

I traced my drawing onto illustration board and painted the gondola & characters first –

And then painted in the sky, water and buildings, and dropped in the text.

My ‘Pirates of Penzance’ Poster Illustration

The Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society is once again gearing up for one of the Victorian playwrights’ funniest, most lyrical and most popular creations, The Pirates of Penzance. I’m happy to again be illustrating the poster for this wonderfully fun musical. If you have ever heard the brilliant patter song I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General, this is the rambunctious show for which that song was written.

I started with a very rough pencil sketch of a group of the colorful characters – maidens, pirates, bobbies, the Major-General – in a classic triangle composition.

I defined the characters a bit more in the next sketch.

I scanned this sketch and did a rough colored pencil blocking in of the colors

I traced this drawing onto illustration board, outlined the characters and began to paint it in using acrylic washes.

And now the finished piece is dropped into the poster design, below. I hope you consider coming, this will be a terrific musical comedy!

Art in Progress for ‘Pirates of Penzance’

I’m buckling up the buccaneers for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society‘s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” in June – here’s a detail of the panoply of characters in one of my all-time favorite shows –

I have yet to paint in the background and then plop it all into place with the information details below it.

This show is an operetta, which means it is mostly sung, but don’t let that put anyone off; it is a VERY funny show, in addition to having magnificent music. (And, my husband does a wonderful turn as the Major-General!) The cast of about 25 singers will be accompanied by the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Orchestra, and the show performs Friday June 14 at 8 pm, Saturday June 15 at 2 and 8 pm and Sunday June 16 at 2 pm. The location is Delaware Valley University, 700 East Butler Avenue, Doylestown, in the Life Sciences Auditorium. Want to buy tickets early and save money over the price of tickets at the door? Just go HERE to order online.

Brochure Design for a Non-Profit

I recently redesigned the season brochure for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s upcoming 2019 events. Given the outstanding photography by our resident photog Dennis Klöppel, and the excellent acting and colorful costuming our group puts together, it is a very good-looking promotional piece – take a look.

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The Society is a wonderful group of friendly and talented amateurs and professionals, and I highly recommend anyone interested to audition for their shows or come and hear the engaging music and delightful wit in every performance. You can keep apprised of upcoming events through their website or liking the group on Facebook.

I am available for design jobs such as this, please contact me through my Contact page on the menu above to chat about your company’s needs.

HMS Pinafore this weekend

I’m happy to remind everyone that the delightful Gilbert & Sullivan comic operetta, for which I painted the poster art, is opening this coming weekend: HMS Pinafore, performed by the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

The program cover, using my artwork:

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H.M.S. Pinafore will perform on Friday June 17 at 8:00 PM, Saturday June 18 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM and Sunday June 19 at 2:00 PM, at Delaware Valley University’s Life Sciences Building Theater, Doylestown. The story weaves together exceedingly polite naval officers, love-struck sailors and starry-eyed young ladies, all sung to Sullivan’s glorious music. Comic patter songs, ballads and madrigals are featured, including favorites “When I Was A Lad,” and “I’m Called Little Buttercup.”  The cast is accompanied by the full Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Orchestra under the direction of Lee F. Milhous

Tickets at the door are $23 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students, and discounted prices are available by ordering ahead online here.  Delaware Valley University is at 700 East Butler Avenue and attendees should enter the campus from New Britain Road onto Admissions Drive and turn right into Parking Lot C, which borders the Life Sciences Building. For more information call 215-348-4837 or visit www.bucksgilbertandsullivan.org .

David Swartz directs the show, with Bob Binkley as Choral Director and Bill Buckman as Producer. The cast features George Achilles, Perry Beem, Bill Buckman, Bob Binkley, Carla Engebretsen, Tina Margot, Dennis Kloppel and Robert West of Doylestown; Jenne Carey of Manalapan, NJ; Derek Hess of Boyertown; Elise Bjordammen of Blue Bell; Michael Dutka of Kintnersville; Theresa Swartz and Nate Binkley of Ambler; Fred Dittman of Berwyn; George Bourrie of Exton; Sarah Darrow of Trenton; Clare Fannon of Newtown; Virginia Ziegler of Pipersville; Ridge Goodwin of Holicong; Sue Hudson of Media; Alice Deanin of Princeton; Doug Kurtze of Ardmore; Jim Palmer of Hatboro; and Jim Sanders of New Hope.

Finished illustration for H.M.S. Pinafore

In yesterday’s post I showed some sketches for my poster art for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s upcoming H.M.S. Pinafore. After I made these line and color sketches I traced the drawing onto illustration board and started painting.

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And finally, added the type for the poster – I had thought of putting a life preserver on the little boat, but thought it would be more fun as the O in the title –

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My artwork, of course, is copyrighted, but you may email me through my contact page, for leasing fees if you are interested in using my original artwork.

It’s sure to be a great musical, the Bucks County Gilbert and Sullivan Society mounts really beautiful shows, with the help of local orchestra musician and amazingly talented singers.  I highly recommend you consider joining them in June!

Illustration for H.M.S. Pinafore

I always enjoy creating the promo material for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society because G&S characters are always appealing and comical and yet dressed so beautifully. Most G&S operettas take place in Victorian England, and H.M.S. Pinafore, the Bucks County group’s musical scheduled for this June, is set squarely in that seafaring era of Britannia.

I wanted to portray some of the major characters in the show: Ralph Rackstraw, the handsome young crewman of the Pinafore; his beloved Josephine, daughter of the ship’s captain; her father, polite and upright Captain Corcoran; Little Buttercup, a jolly village woman with a hankering for the captain; Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., an older aristocrat who wishes to wed the much-younger Josephine; and I threw in Dick Deadeye, one of the hilarious sailors on board. I decided to stuff them all into a little dinghy, which is not a scene in the play, but sort of gives an idea of the witty, loopy plot these proper British characters find themselves in on the good ship Pinafore.

I blocked in my characters in their little boat, and the title in pencil  –

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I photocopied the pencil rough and used colored pencils to do a general color sketch. On the computer I tried a title font and added more ocean at the bottom, where text about the show will go –

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Tomorrow I’ll show some more steps and the finished art.

Painting Princess Ida, finished art

The finished art, painted in acrylic paints on illustration board, for Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan’s June production of ‘Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant’. The show runs Friday June 13 and Saturday June 14 and all the details can be viewed at the Bucks G&S website.

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If you don’t know the story of Princess Ida, it’s a funny one about the battle of the sexes.  And it has an actual Battle of the Sexes, in Act III. .

It begins with King Hildebrand and his loyal subjects awaiting the arrival of rival King Gama and his daughter, Princess Ida, to marry Hildebrand’s son, the Prince Hilarion. Gama, however, arrives not with his daughter but with his three dull sons, and explains in his cantankerous way that Ida will not marry Hilarion.  She has instead devoted herself to ruling a woman’s university, where she instructs her pupils on the inferiority of man, among other subjects. Hildebrand sputters that Gama and his sons will be held captive until Ida appears and consents to marry Hilarion.

The story moves to Castle Adamant where Princess Ida and her learned ladies teach their students about the evils of man. Prince Hilarion and his friends Florian and Cyril sneak into the Woman’s University disguised as women (I think you need that bit at least once in every G&S show). Their ruse is uncovered when it’s shockingly observed that two of them are tenors and one a baritone. Ida promptly has the three men arrested, then King Hildebrand shows up to give Ida 24 hours before he demolishes Castle Adamant, if she does not marry Hilarion.

The women bring out the battle-axes to defend the castle but Hilarion and his friends easily win; Princess Ida yields to her prince, and with joy abiding, the opera concludes.

Painting Princess Ida, part 4

Adding more detail to Castle Adamant, the fortress in which Princess Ida holes up to keep out the men in her life.

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To see the preliminary drawings for this show poster art, scroll back through these blog posts.  The musical ‘Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant’ is by Gilbert & Sullivan and will be performed June 13 and 14 in Doylestown by the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society – see their website for more details.