The Brotherhood of the Stinky Underpants | A few more…

By heather at 2:04 am on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

potty training children's book boys

Ah, I’m really enjoying painting this last stretch for Elizabeth Austinís childrenís book, The Brotherhood of the Stinky Underpants… it’s all faces, and I’m one of those who subconsciously makes the same faces as the characters while I’m illustrating… a bad sign when the story’s about potty training! These still need some small tweaks to them, but are pretty close to done.

potty training children's book boys

potty training children's book boys

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The Brotherhood of the Stinky Underpants | A few more almost finished…

By heather at 2:25 am on Wednesday, August 22, 2007

children's book illustrations potty training boys

Thought I’d post these three illustrations for Elizabeth Austinís childrenís book, The Brotherhood of the Stinky Underpants… they’re about 95% finished, just some minor stuff to fix up.† Feel free to comment if you have any suggestions for me, now’s the time!!!

children's book illustrations potty training boys

children's book illustrations potty training boys

Filed under: work in progress, childrens books, The Brotherhood of the Stinky Underpants1 Comment »

Bookie And the Scoliosis Diagnosis | Sketches

By heather at 4:47 am on Wednesday, August 15, 2007

scoliosis children story illustration

Illustrations © Heather Castles, Story © Nina Saab

I’ve been having fun working with author Nina Saab on her first children’s book, “Bookie and the Scoliosis Diagnosis.” Scoliosis is when a person’s spine grows in a curvy ‘S’ shape rather than straight (you can learn more about Scoliosis on Wikipedia.) The story is a lot of fun, with great characters to illustrate. The book is going to be published in time for for the National Scoliosis Day in Ottawa, Canada this coming November 2007, so the deadline is tight, tight, tight! The sketches were approved just this week, and I’ll be starting the watercolour illustrations next week, so stay tuned! Here are a few sketches from the story…

scoliosis children story illustration

The book opens with Bookie’s ballet teacher phoning Bookie’s Mom to tell her she thinks Bookie may have scoliosis. I love the ballet classroom setting, especially for little kids, as I always imagine the cute chaos as all the little angels attempt to do these beautifully graceful poses, all the while simply looking like a bunch of little girls pretending to be princessess in their tutus.

scoliosis children story illustration

While Bookie’s mom is calling Dr. Healy (love her name,) Bookie and her brother listen in. I love it how kids sometimes have to peak up over tables and rails to see what’s going on.

scoliosis children story illustration

Throughout the story, you’ll notice Bookie’s little brother, who is probably like most little brothers and wants to be included in all the action… and he’s right in the action here, whether he’s wanted or not! I love his enthusiasm for what his sister’s going through… even if he’s a little annoying at times, rummaging through doctor’s drawers… but I think he’s cute even if a little too curious!

scoliosis children story illustration

This might be a bit oversimplistic… a big scary box for the X-Ray machine! I went and had an x-ray a few months back, and even though I’m an adult, I still found the unknown machine in front of me a little intimmidating, and couldn’t even remember what it looked like… just that it was big & scary! Which is why I didn’t try to make it exactly like a real X-ray machine… just big & mysterious and a little domineering for poor Bookie!

scoliosis children story illustration

I love the expressions kids get when something scary but fun is about to happen… like getting told you’re going to get hit with a snowball. You tightly close your eyes and bunch up your fists and wait excitedly for it to happen! That’s the feeling I wanted to capture when Bookie was having her first X-ray done.

scoliosis children story illustration

Heh, again Bookie’s little brother is interrupting Dr. Fixie Bones… gotta love him.

Okalie dokalie, will post some snaps of the watercolours once they’re all set up!

Filed under: work in progress, sketches, childrens books, Bookie and the Scoliosis Diagnosis4 Comments »

Glenn Jones | Defend the Kingdom

By heather at 7:20 pm on Tuesday, August 14, 2007

glenn_jones.gif

This reprinted Threadless Tee, Defend the Kingdom by kiwi illustrator Glenn Jones is my new favourite… it just captures so perfectly the warm childhood feeling of going to the beach and building the best sandcastle ever… and defending it from every stray beachball, foot, dog, and wave until it’s inevitably knocked down. Brilliant. Glen Jones just has such a playful style and brings a lot of humour to his illustrations… I didn’t realize I was already a fan of his work, Ben & I have a couple of his tees in our Threadless collection, including Dark Side of the Garden & Calling Home,

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Jain Temple, in Ranakpur, India | Marble Ceiling Carvings

By heather at 4:51 pm on Friday, August 10, 2007

india jain temple ranakpur marble carving

Well I’ve been a bit neglectful of sharing some of the things that captivated us while we were in India… we toured literally dozens of temples and tombs. The one I think we most amazed us were the Ranakpur Jain Temple, which had different carvings on over 1400 marble pillars, all unique. The marble ceiling carvings were my favourite though, as you look up and these perfect dials thirty or so feet above you while you find your way through a maze of pillars. It was overwhelming at times how much pattern & carving was everywhere… you almost get a bit desensitized to it. Here are a few of my favourites from all over India…

india jain temple ranakpur marble carving

india jain temple ranakpur marble carving

(Read on …)

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The Brotherhood of the Stinky Underpants | Grandma

By heather at 3:42 pm on Wednesday, August 8, 2007

childrens book illustrations boys bath

Thought I’d post a few more scans of the work in progress for Elizabeth Austinís childrenís book, The Brotherhood of the Stinky Underpants. I really enjoyed working on the portrait of the Grandma in the story yesterday… I worked in mid-tones right off the bat this time (rather than from working from dark to light or visa-versa) and that speed up the process quite a bit.

childrens book illustrations boys bathchildrens book illustrations boys bath

childrens book illustrations boys bath

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Good-bye, Baby Max | Has Gone to Print!

By heather at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, August 7, 2007

good-bye baby max childrens book illustration chickens kindergarten

After the detailed process of revising and tweaking the layout of Diane Cantrell’s “Good-bye, Baby Max,” it has officially been sent off to the printer! This is the finished front cover… it was a bit of a challenge as the illustration used for the cover (below) had to be chopped in half, and the right & left sides swapped so that the right side of the original illustration would show on the back cover. Tricky stuff! I also moved Mrs. B to the front cover with Photoshop. The rug was also a later addition to the illustration, painted seperately, then scanned and added in with Photoshop.

It was such a valuable experience working with the the team at Bridgeway Books on the cover & interior design of the story to complement the illustrations. I set up the print-ready files for the book jacket, cover, endpages & interior with Adobe InDesign CS2. For a sneak peak at the inside illustrations, check out this previous post! (Read on …)

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Purple Ribbons | Available online!

By heather at 10:31 pm on Monday, August 6, 2007

purple ribbons rabbit bunny children's book illustration

“Purple Ribbons,” written by Cristina Guarneri and illustrated by yours truly, is now available online!!! The story is about a little bunny whose father is a doctor for the military and has to go away for long periods of time. It’s about her dealing with him being away, and coming to accept & appreciate the giving nature of his job in wanting to help people.

If you’d like to see the process of illustrating this story, check out these previous posts :

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Georgian Bay Information Signs Are Installed!

By heather at 1:00 am on Saturday, August 4, 2007

georgian bay parks canada sign boardwalk

Today I was delighted to receive some digital shots of the installed signs I illustrated & designed for Parks Canada this past the spring… they can be seen at Georgian Bay Island National Park, providing visitors on information about the natural beaches, their wildlife, and how to protect them. These are two of the four signs I illustrated & designed for the park.

georgian bay parks canada sign boardwalk

georgian bay parks canada sign boardwalk

georgian bay parks canada sign boardwalk

Filed under: illustrations4 Comments »

Understanding ACMI Artist Materials Seals & Toxicity Labels

By heather at 1:00 am on Friday, August 3, 2007

My awareness & concern for non-toxic art materials has been rekindled… I’ve often noticed the AP labels on my paints and art supplies, but not really bothered to find out what they mean. So here’s a quick 101 on deciphering the safety of your artist materials… (Read on …)

Filed under: business of illustration6 Comments »
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