Hey everyone, and I’m back with a decidedly different post than the usual. I know I said in my first post that I’d post about other things aside from what’s going on in the world of children’s literature, such as how to do some of the things I can do or some of my artwork. However, I didn’t have too many ideas for artwork to show that I was willing to show. So I came up with an idea: to start a series of posts featuring children’s book characters in my art style! Since they don’t take as much time to make as my stories do, I figured that they would make some great content in the meantime until I can put out the next Izzy Speechbubbles story and all subsequent stories.
Before I begin this first round, I might as well explain how this is going to work:
- I’m only doing children’s book characters – meaning characters featured in books intended for audiences up to 12 years of age. Even if a character first appeared in another medium such as a comic strip or a game, I will still consider the character to be a children’s book character.
- I’ll usually do ten characters per round, though I might do more or less depending on what I’m feeling up to doing or how much time I have on my hands. If multiple characters are often associated together (i.e., Jack and Annie from Magic Tree House), I will consider them as one character for the round (featured in the same image).
- Since there are characters I will probably end up ignoring/not acknowledging, I’m open to requests to do these characters, as long as they are children’s book characters. I might also consider some young adult characters depending on the property.
- Some characters have styles that are specifically distinct from mine, so some characters will look more differently in my versions than others. Depending on how distinct the style of a certain character is from mine, I may ignore that character on purpose, unless requests entice me to challenge myself.
- Although I am creating a new interpretation of these characters, I will try to maintain the essence of their original designs, if there are certain features about them that in my style wouldn’t look the same. For example, I generally don’t give my characters dots for eyes, but if I am drawing a character with this trait, I will simply make the irises bigger.
- As usual, if you wish to share my work, you may do so for as long as you credit me. If you wish to use my work in any way, feel free to either comment or send a contact form on the Contact page.
And so let Round One begin!
Harry Potter, Harry Potter
Why not start with the bestselling
children’s book character of all time? For the Boy Who Lived, I decided to depict him in his typical Hogwarts school uniform garb, adding elements such as Harry’s wand and his Gryffindor scarf from the films. Surprisingly, the hardest part was Harry’s hair, as it lends itself to all kinds of styles. The rest though? It was almost like magic!
Greg Heffley, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Who else should be next than my personal favorite children’s book character, Greg Heffley? Since Greg is one of those characters with a specifically distinct style from mine, there were some things I had to consider. As my style is more complex than Jeff Kinney’s stick-figure style, I took some influence from Greg’s depiction in the live-action films, then placed emphasis on the more cartoonish aspects of Greg’s design, such as his three hairs and his long nose. Quite wimpy, indeed!
Jack and Annie Smith, Magic Tree House
Time to point to a book about art and say that you wish to go to the time I make the drawings of my second favorite children’s book characters ever, and my favorite characters before I met Greg: Jack and Annie! For the beloved time-traveling siblings, I mainly based their design off their appearance in the first Magic Tree House book, Dinosaurs Before Dark. I also incorporated aspects of their appearance at the top of the Research Guides (not the Fact Trackers), in which Jack has his notepad and Annie has a blue backpack and camera. And it’s time to go back to that book on Frog Creek!
Madeline Fogg, Madeline
Ah, have I always loved this classic, the shortest girl in two straight lines. For much of my childhood I was captivated with Madeline, so it was fun to draw her. For my version of the character, I set out to incorporate all of the aspects of her outfit that are often not always there, such as the red tie or the buttons that go down the dress. I also decided to add in the parasol, which I actually didn’t know she had until now as I knew her more from the books than the TV series. And that’s all there is to say about this drawing, there isn’t any more.
Percy Jackson, Percy Jackson and the Olympians
For the Son of Poseidon, I knew I had to try a really cool action pose. I really wanted to evoke the sense of Percy preparing to go into battle with Riptide, moments before his first slash at an opponent with his waves in tow. Similarly to Harry, Percy’s hair lends itself to all kinds of styles, so it looked quite different before I decided it didn’t fit and tried again. It will certainly be cool to see how the rest of Camp Half-Blood turns out, for sure.
Ramona Quimby, Ramona/Henry Huggins
Another classic I have always loved, the so-called pest of Klickitat Street will always be remembered as the girl who first showed us that there are more to little kids than being destructive nuisances. That this is just their way of trying to be nice like the rest of us, and we just have to work with them and their ambitious imaginations. Unlike many other characters, Ramona’s outfit has had various iterations over the years. Even so, the character’s most well-known outfit is probably the one with her distinctive red coveralls and, whenever she feels like it, her characteristic bunny ears as depicted in Beezus and Ramona. She may be impossible, but the drawing wasn’t!
Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew
And here is the first girl detective: Nancy Drew! Edward Stratemeyer clearly struck gold when he brought the concept of the kid detective into prominent use with Nancy and her male counterparts, The Hardy Boys. The concept of the kid detective has persisted through the ages since as one of the most common children’s book character tropes, from the Boxcar Children to Encyclopedia Brown to Timmy Failure. For Nancy, I used her initial 1930’s appearance in The Secret of the Old Clock. How the rest of Nancy’s crew will end up though, is certainly a mystery.
She may not yet be pretty, but this drawing certainly is! Admittedly, Eloise’s hair took an insanely long time to design, as I realized just how much the character’s hair goes all over the place even with the generic shape it keeps. It also took some time to get Eloise in a pose that was worthy of her conceited and pampered demeanor. And I definitely wanted to add in that marker that just doesn’t seem to like paper. Awbsolutely fawbulous!
Ms. Frizzle, The Magic School Bus
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting Ms. Frizzle to end up this good; she ended up being my personal favorite this round. As the character has more dresses than you can count, which aids in her quirky personality, choosing one wouldn’t be very easy in foresight, though it ended up being a fairly quick decision. I also wanted to faithfully depict the meaning of the character’s name and make her hair as frizzy as it is in the books compared to the TV series. I’m quite excited to do the classmates next, which will be pretty fun. As The Friz herself states, “Get out there and explore!”
Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
And so this round concludes with children’s literature’s preeminent chocolatier! For Roald Dahl’s most iconic character, I wanted to stick very close to the books version of the character’s design. I also wanted to place Wonka in a position that fit his eccentric and enthusiastic personality. I plan on doing Charlie and the four naughty children next. The opportunities are as golden as a golden ticket!
Hope you liked this first round! For Rounds Two through Four, I’ll be focusing on characters in other properties before I get back to the properties from this round. I’ll start doing supporting characters in Round Five, of which this can really go anywhere from there. Even with my concrete plans, I’ll try to mend my plans around any requests accordingly. While I can’t provide exact dates as to when these rounds will happen, they will be coming, and I’m pretty excited. Until then, stay enlightened, educated and entertained, folks. 😉