More Musical Animals

Getting a jump on next spring, the Lenape Chamber Ensemble asked me to draw up the flyer for their March Children’s Concert.

The Schubert piece that the Ensemble will play is entitled Rosamunde, which refers to the legend of a princess who lives for years disguised as a shepherdess. I decided to base my drawing on that, so I sketched some sheep playing the various instruments needed –

and shepherdess Rosamunde with a crown of flowers and sitting on a tree-throne listening on.

And then I combined them into the layout for the flyer, below. I do recommend these concerts, they are fun for kids and adults alike!

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.  

Doylestown Symphonic Winds Poster

It is time for the annual – and magnificent – Doylestown Symphonic Winds concert at Delaware Valley University, and I was happy to once again create the poster for this year’s theme – Song and Dance. This delightful orchestra of brass and wind instruments, under the baton of music director Gina Lenox, assistant conductor Jack Schmidt and guest conductor Dr. Virginia Allen, will perform Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger, as well as other wonderful symphonic pieces inspired by songs and dances. It is always a terrific concert, I’m really looking forward to it this Friday!

For this poster I made a rough pencil layout, then sketched folk dancers from research photos. While I sketched by hand, I ‘drew’ the final art graphically on the computer.

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An Animal Chamber Ensemble

I’ve drew my latest flyer illustration for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s spring children’s concert.  I always pick some cute animals to portray the musicians in the concert, although in reality they are world-class instrumentalists who play delightful snippets of classical masterpieces for youngsters, tell stories of the composers and get the children to dance to the music. These are wonderful concerts.

lenchens_beavers_1I had never drawn a colony of beavers before so I chose them; I placed a bunch of them on a dam for their concert, and since there were only four musical instruments to include this time I added a nattily dressed beaver couple as their audience. I started with a very rough pencil sketch, and I typed the wording in on a template I’ve made – the text always follows the same format, and I hand-letter it for the finish. It makes it easier to keep straight and space right if I hand trace the letters from this template.

I scanned the first sketch and made the characters a little bigger, and realized I had mistakenly drawn a harpsichord, but it should be a piano. Then I quickly inked & lenchens_beavers_2pencilled in blacks and gray values to see where I would concentrate the most color and texture in the picture. I added in a duck flying by, announcing refreshments, which they always provide to the kids at the concert. The duck was a little too large, I reduced it for the final art.

Onto a clean sheet of bond paper I traced the lettering using my lightbox, and also lightly traced the scene in pencil. Then I used a Faber-Castell fine felt-point to ink in the characters one by one, and all the little sticks and ripples of the dam and the water. I changed the backdrop from vague rolling hills to a fir-tree forest instead, with some reflections in the water. The finished art is below.

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Again, I heartily recommend these concerts if you want to introduce a young child to the beauty and enjoyment of classical music!

 

Viola da Gambas and Frogs’ Legs

Once again I was asked to draw a fun illustration for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s Children’s Concert, which will be performed November 4th at Delaware Valley University here in Doylestown.

frogs1This musical programme features a lesser-known instrument, the viola da gamba, which means ‘viol of the legs’ which is in contrast to the traditional violin, or viola da bracchia (viol  of the arms). To play up the importance of ‘da gamba’ for the instrument, I chose to sketch a frog playing it. The viola da gamba has a few differences from the rest of the string family – it has ‘C’ shaped holes to the left and right of the bridge, instead of  the ‘f’ shape of other strings, and the bow is held underhanded, instead of the overhand grip for other bows.

I sketched the other instruments – violin, viola, cello, bass and harpsichord – being played by happy salamanders.

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– and situated them all in a little swamp, as you can see below. I’ve said it before, I highly  recommend these concerts for young children – the musicians are world-class and they all teach, so they are very generous and personable in talking to their young audience between playing snippets of classics.  It’s a wonderful experience for kids, and parents can attend the performance for free.

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Illustration for a Fall Children’s Concert

lenapechamberensfall16detailtwOnce again the Lenape Chamber Ensemble has asked me to create a fun illustration to advertise their semi annual concert for children. This ensemble has been performing outstanding classical chamber music since 1975, and its musicians are among the best that the New York/ Philadelphia area have to offer, and have come from as far away as California and Europe. My friend Mary Eleanor Pitcairn has supported and produced these concerts since their inception, and she and her daughter Elizabeth Pitcairn are remarkable musicians themselves, as well as devoted patrons of musical art.

The program for this concert includes Handel’s Water Music, which he wrote in response to King George I of England’s request for a concert on the River Thames. It features movements related to dances of the era, such as minuets, bourrees and hornpipes. You’ll recognize the hornpipe if you listen to it here. I thought about the hornpipe that is a traditional sailors’ dance, and chose to draw cats for my illustration of sailors performing the music, while two break out into a hornpipe on the deck.

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I heartily recommend taking your children or grandchildren to these Lenape concerts, they are formatted especially for young children – the musicians talk about the music and composers in simple terms, demonstrate their instruments, play short snippets of the elegant music and explain how the instruments speak to each other, and take questions from the children. It often ends with all the children dancing to the final musical piece, and it’s a delightful experience for everyone!

 

Poster Design for Doylestown Symphonic Winds

I created this black/white illustration and poster design for a concert by a local wind ensemble.  They want a limited-color version as well, which I’m working on.  I am really looking forward to going to the concert, their program includes:

Star Spangled Banner (John Williams)
Play! (Carl Holmquist)
Candide Suite (Leonard Bernstein)
Chronicles (Joseph Turrin) trumpet soloist Matt Gallagher from University of the Arts and Philadelphia Pops
Second Prelude (George Gershwin)
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Bernstein)
Don’t you See? (Donald Grantham)
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