Gilbert & Sullivan Coloring Pages

I’ve added a new illustrated item to my Etsy shop: a digitally downloadable pair of coloring sheets, for those who like to color as a hobby and are fans of G&S. That’s a pretty selective niche, you say? That may be, but I’ve had requests for G&S coloring books before, so I’m starting with these two pages to see if there is viable interest out there for a series. I’m a huge fan of Gilbert & Sullivan, having illustrated a number of posters for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and hope these provide some quiet entertainment for friends who feel the same.

These two drawings are of main characters of the operetta The Pirates of Penzance – Frederic, the young pirate who is freed from his indenture, and Mabel, the lovely lass with whom he falls in love. To see the coloring sheets and all ordering info, just visit my Etsy shop HERE.

With an Etsy Digital Download, the item you are purchasing is the electronic file you need to print off a drawing from your own home printer. There are no physical papers or drawing that are mailed to you, the purchaser. As soon as you pay the small fee on Etsy for downloading the images, you can print them out and start coloring – but I stress, you do need your own home printer to put the drawings onto paper.

To see the art I’ve created for Bucks G&S you can see my post HERE. There are plenty of other G&S characters to draw, and I hope to hear from customers as to which ones to draw next. Etsy has a message feature, so I invite friends to drop me a line for other coloring sheet ideas.

Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta Prints

I first saw a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta on television in the 1980s, when the wonderful Clive Revill played Koko in a BBC production of The Mikado. I was floored over how ingenious the patter song lyrics were, and how truly funny the humor was for something written a hundred years earlier. And the music itself was utterly sumptuous! I listened to as many G&S records as I could find in our local library – but since this was in pre-internet days, that’s about as far as my Savoy education went.

About 12 years ago my husband (who had been in HMS Pinafore years back) and I heard a Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society was forming right here in our town, so we checked it out right away. Since then we’ve been involved in and entertained by many of these delightful musicals; and it is apparent many others in our area appreciate the madcap plots, colorful characters and buoyant music of these operettas too.

For the Bucks G&S Society I’ve created 8 illustrations so far of their productions, and now by request of a G&S fan I’ve made 8″ x 10″ color prints of each. These full color prints are on heavy, partially-recycled paper and printed in the USA. The prints are $8.00 each and may be ordered by emailing me on my Contact page for info on shipping and payment method. A discount price of $55.00 is available for a complete set of 8 prints.

If any G&S groups would like to lease my copyrighted images for their posters and promotional items, please send me a message on my Contact page for leasing information. The 8 images are shown on my new G&S page – click HERE – and all artworks are (c) Pat Achilles.

‘Pirates of Penzance’ Opening Tonight

Tonight, June 14, the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society pirates take the stage, along with Major-General daughters and policemen, to perform a play 140 years old that still delights with its wit and soaring music.

I’m very happy to be involved behind the scenes while my husband takes his turn as Major-General Stanley, a part he imbues with genuine humor and sings with uncanny precision. My illustration for the show has served well for the poster, program cover, and in movie theater and newspaper ads.

it will be wonderful to see the show in full sail, with a magnificent orchestra, costumes, set, makeup and the million other details that support a community theater project. If any of you reading this are local, I utterly recommend the show for top-quality singing, and orchestral accompaniment. And the story’s a hoot too.

I’ll leave you with some photos of dress rehearsal, and if you want more info I’ve put a lot on the group’s website HERE. Tickets are still available at the door or thru BrownPaperTickets.




One of many fun email blasts I created for this wonderful & talented group!

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.

My Illustration for Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’

yeo4Every June the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society performs an operetta by their illustrious namesakes, with full theatrical effects – beautiful costuming and staging, rhapsodic music by a full orchestra, and outstanding singers who vocalize the distinctly idiosyncratic lyrics of Mr. Gilbert while giving operatic due to Mr. Sullivan’s soaring arias and choruses. It’s an experience I enjoy wholeheartedly.

yeo5While most of the duo’s operettas are predominantly comic, their most poignant and emotional work, The Yeomen of the Guard, has been chosen for this year’s show. You may be sure there is still comedy and patter songs in Yeomen, but the story rests more on the dramatic themes of courage, love and honor, and it does so with great beauty.

So instead of drawing my usual quirky stock characters bounding across oceans and peeking from behind judge’s benches, I painted a more solemn scene for this show which takes place in the time of King Henry VIII.  Solemn – but I hope a bit curious too. The director, Bob Kinney, asked for a scene with some of the main characters – the jester, Jack Point, and his betrothed Elsie Maynard, bowing to one of the sturdy Yeomen who guard the Tower of London and its prisoners. yeo6It would be a pleasant moment to illustrate if the sky were not lowering threateningly, and but for a figure lurking by the Tower wall on the right. This figure is the Headsman, ready to dispatch some poor prisoner to his unfortunate fate, and he is a menacing presence in the play.

I tried drawing several compositions to highlight the group of three and hide the Headsman a bit, before I chose to present them as if at center stage.

I made the set minimal and neutral in tone, which matches the set for this production, to bring out the colorful costumes and sky and the shadows stretching in front of them give a more serious feel to the scene. I blocked in basic color and tones using the computer. Once I had the composition set I drew the figures in more detail for a sketch to trace to illustration board.

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and then painted it using my computer-colored composition as a guide.

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I added in the shadows below them digitally, so i could gradate it to a dark background, so the white type would drop out.

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This opera, as is indicated on the poster, runs June 15, 16 and 17 at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, and it promises to be am extraordinary experience!. Further info is on the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society website here.

 

 

 

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.