Hedgehogs with Violins

If you see hedgehogs playing violins and flutes, can spring be far behind?

Below is my drawing for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s upcoming Concert for Children in March. Lenape Chamber Ensemble brings together word-class musicians for local classical concerts and the instrumentalists also find time to do a one-hour concert for kids in between their professional performances – they talk to the kids about composers, play snippets of the longer pieces, and generally create an entertaining hour of the fun side of classical music. It’s completely informal – kids spontaneously dancing along to the music is encouraged – and children can chat with the musicians and see the instruments up close.

Highly recommended for an afternoon out with the kids or grandkids, to welcome spring!

Chamber Music Hippos

Twice a year the Lenape Chamber Ensemble creates a delightful concert for children age 4-12 at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA, featuring world-class musicians performing short sections of the classical masterpieces – they play the full versions in their adult evening concerts. The musicians explain their instruments and themes in the music in simple terms for the children in a casual interactive concert. At the end the kids are invited to dance to the music – so fun to watch!  

I’m commissioned to draw the flyers for the Children’s Concerts and chose hippos this time for my illustrated performers. I can imagine hippos behaving rather elegantly in evening dress, can’t you?

I highly recommend the concert for introducing young kids to great pieces of music – simple refreshments are provided at the end of the 1-hour concert and children can meet the musicians and see their instruments up close afterwards.  And you can’t beat the price – children $2, adults free! For further see their website or call (610) 294-9362.  


Twice a year the Lenape Chamber Ensemble performs absolutely delightful concerts for children, in which the world-class musicians of the Ensemble play snippets of masterworks and also explain details about the composer, the music and their individual instruments. While developing the sketch for my latest illustration for their upcoming March concert, I learned that one movement to be performed was based on ‘the Pulcinella pulcinellaengravingtheme.’ I usually try to relate my drawing to one piece in the concert. Probably a lot of the kids and parents who attend don’t get the reference, but I’m sure a few aficionados do.  So I had to look up Pulcinella to see if I could put him into my drawing.

I thought Pulcinella was related somehow to ‘Punch’ of Punch & Judy shows, and I found that indeed is the case – the character of Pulcinella began in Italian commedia dell’arte shows and evolved into the comic puppet character of Punch in the English-speaking world. He’s usually shown dressed in black and white, with a black face mask and a long beak-like nose, a clownish figure.

For my sketch I thought Pulcinella’s look lent itself perfectly to a raccoon, right down to the pointy nose and ‘black mask’ – so that’s who is dancing in the center of my sketch, playing the flute.


He is entertaining a family of groundhogs because, well, we have both raccoons and groundhogs around my neighborhood.

I then traced this sketch onto good paper and inked in the drawing, adding some details as I went along – see below.  Hopefully a few in the audience will make the connection between the piece and my illustration!  (I highly recommend this concert to folks in my area if they have young children and want them introduced to great classical music in a very fun setting.)


For more of my illustrations, including the cartoons and caricatures I create for corporate greeting cards, scroll down my blog at https://achillesportfolio.wordpress.com/pencilled-in/ .

The Harmonious Blacksmith Finished Art

I inked in the flyer for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s children’s concert, below. The preliminary sketches are in previous posts, if you scroll back.  If you’d like to hear the delightful little air by Handel that is nicknamed The Harmonious Blacksmith, it is here on Youtube. 



And I highly recommend, if you have little children and you want them to learn to appreciate fine music, that you bring them to the Children’s Concert November 22!

The Harmonious Bear Blacksmith

lenchfall14sk2wpdetail2It’s time for me to draw another flyer for the wonderful Children’s Concerts of the Lenape Chamber Ensemble, for their November performance.  This concert will feature the Ensemble’s world-class musicians performing snippets of classical gems for the 150 or so kids and parents who attend, and also explaining, in simple terms, musical themes, how their instruments work, and a bit of the history of the composers to the audience as well. Each concert I’ve attended has been a really delightful experience.

The program includes a Handel piece that has acquired a nickname, The Harmonious Blacksmith, because of its rhythmic beat, so I created a little scene based on that.  As in the past, I put animals in the musician roles, this time it’s bears; and I try to include all the instruments that will actually be played at the concert. (Click on the image below to enlarge) I start very roughly in pencil:



I put the text in with my computer at this stage, but then I trace it by hand for the finish – it’s how I’ve always done the flyer, since my pre-home-computer days, and they like the hand-lettered look. Below I’ve traced the elements of the sketch in pencil and started adding details to the figures and the instruments.  I enjoyed researching photos of old blacksmiths & their tools, to add some specifics to the drawing:



Tomorrow I’ll post the inked-in finished art.

Sketch for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble

I draw several flyers a year for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble‘s youth concerts.  These concerts are absolutely delightful demonstrations of wonderful classical music, by world-class musicians for kids as young as 2 or 3, right up to teens.  I’ve been to several concerts and the musicians are always brief and entertaining in their talks to the kids, whether they relate stories of the composer, their instrument, or their own life experiences with music.  I can’t recommend these concerts enough for young people!

I always draw some grouping of animals playing the instruments listed for that particular concert – here’s the sketch for the fall concert, which will be on November 16:


Classical Music for Kids

lenapecespring13flyerThe Lenape Chamber Ensemble does delightful concerts for children twice a year, I just finished this flyer for their April appearance.  These are world-class musicians who squeeze a perfectly-proportioned musical celebration for kids in between two grand and commanding evening concerts for adult music-lovers.  The musicians play snippets of their evening repertoire as they talk about the music’s mood, the composer’s life and how their instruments work and sing to each other.  It is a lovely experience for families – I especially enjoy when the dozens of little ones up front are invited to stand and dance however they see fit to the piece being played.  You can see all the details at their website.