Hey everyone, and it’s time once again for another round of children’s book characters in my art style! Before we begin, you may have noticed something that has been happening with the series lately – the blog is no longer where you’re seeing these drawings first. That’s because I decided to take a different approach with the series by releasing new drawings on my recently released DeviantArt page first. That way, the wait for new drawings won’t be as long, and then once I have made enough new drawings at a time, they will be complied here on the blog in the form of all subsequent rounds.
You may have also noticed my expansion to social media on Twitter, in which as I said in my first Tweet, will feature links to newly released posts, as well as blog updates and news too small for posts. If you’ve been there, you may have also noticed a certain image I shared that may be the reason why you’re here. In that case, I can guarantee you that you’ll be in for a maze-running treat. 😉
Anyway, here are the usual rules before I begin:
- 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 Three begin!
Nikki Maxwell, The Dork Diaries
And so we begin this round with what is probably Greg Heffley’s female counterpart, Nikki Maxwell! The self-proclaimed dork currently doesn’t have too many existing color palettes, but that didn’t stop me from finding a good one. I remembered that Poptropica once had a couple Dork Diaries advertisements in which they Poptropicanized the characters, which is what I referred to when it came to coloring Nikki. Probably the most prolific legacy book series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Dork Diaries has always trailed behind its male counterpart in the number of installments, yet Summit Entertainment has yet to deliver on the film adaptation its promised for quite some time now.
Frank and Joe Hardy, The Hardy Boys
And so we transition to the male versions of Nancy Drew, and the original kid detectives before Nancy soon entered the scene: The Hardy Boys! Like what I did with Nancy, I based their designs on their appearance in their first book, The Tower Treasure. I referred to some other images of the characters to help guide me in designing them, with the hardest part definitely being the brothers’ hair. We’ll see how the rest of the characters in Nancy’s world turn out as this mystery unfolds.
Encyclopedia Brown, Encyclopedia Brown
Another kid detective that came to my mind to design, Leroy here was relatively easy. Encyclopedia Brown has a pretty simple design, with his hair being the only real obstacle (this is becoming a common thing, though). He’s had his fair share of exposure in other media, but like Nikki, he also has a film adaptation in development that was announced in 2013 and hasn’t really gone anywhere since. Now that’s a mystery!
Matilda Wormwood, Matilda
And back to the world of Roald Dahl we go! Like I did with Willy Wonka, for the telekinetic bookworm, I stuck very close to the books version of the character’s design, as Matilda similarly changed a lot with her jumps to other media. I even drew the lines in her hair like I did with Eloise, though digital technology makes this a much easier thing to do.
Captain Underpants, Captain Underpants
Tra la la! He fights giant toilets, robotic boogers, and reluctant parents! He’s Captain Underpants! Jokes aside, I was tempted to do the Captain for a while due to his vastly different style from mine. But then I remembered that I did it before with Greg Heffley, so I decided to give it a shot. I don’t usually draw bald characters either, so that was an interesting thing to try out (also, no difficulties with hair this time, yay!). The most time-consuming part had to be the dots on his cape. Now couldn’t be a better time to make this drawing with the recent release of The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants on Netflix. And although it opened to mixed reviews, it’s at least better than The Magic School Bus Rides Again, Netflix’s other Scholastic-produced series.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games
Another character I was tempted to do due to being a young adult character, I eventually came to terms with the fact that drawing the Girl on Fire would be inevitable. After all, The Hunger Games is not only a Scholastic-owned property, but it is often put in much of the same league as its younger-oriented counterparts, specifically Harry Potter, which tends to bridge the age gap. Many young adult characters like Katniss are interesting in the sense that no existing official images are usually made of these characters until they get a film adaptation, so of course I used images of her from the films as my main reference. I put her in the outfit she wore in the first film, and I also made sure to acknowledge the character’s olive skin this time. 😉 Now let’s let her save the children.
Amy and Dan Cahill, The 39 Clues
Up next is two members of the most powerful and influential family in history: the Cahills! For Amy and Dan, I mainly referred to the photographic images used to promote the 39 Clues books for their designs. With danger lurking at every corner, I wanted to put them in a pose that reflected how they are always prepared for it. Despite the film having been in the works since 2008, no updates have been made since 2014, with the film likely having been put in the back burner in favor of other Silvertongue projects. We’ll see if the film gets picked back up following the release of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.
Timmy Failure, Timmy Failure
Timmy Failure is a successful marriage of two concepts: the unlikely hero concept in characters like Greg Heffley, Nate Wright and Rafe Khatchadorian, and the kid detective concept in characters like Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown (like I just drew, ha). As Failure has one of the simplest designs of any children’s book character, translating those design concepts into my art style was a fun challenge. The character got a Poptropica Island adaptation in 2015, and is set to be adapted into a film by Disney as an original project for their streaming service, which will be interesting to see.
Thomas, The Maze Runner
I have my reasons for drawing yet another young adult character, and if you saw my teaser for this post on Twitter, you may already know why. So here is the story of how I met James Dashner. Back in my senior year of high school I entered Random House’s Creative Writing Competition, in which I submitted a comic called Living Your Dreams Right! While I won an Artists Recognition Award in Graphic Novels, that’s the farthest I got because I realized my submission was a little too long once I saw what the winners sent in. Nonetheless, the awards night was a treat, with James Dashner himself in attendance to promote The Maze Runner and giving away free autographed copies of a Collectors Edition of the first two books in one! I couldn’t believe that I forgot about it, and I figured that now was a perfect time to show you how I’ve been in my fair share of mazes.
And that concludes this round! Admittedly, I’m running out of ideas for characters in which I can represent a lot of properties in a single round, which is why there are nine characters in this round instead of ten. I have plenty of ideas for characters that are usually represented in a group of three or more, but I don’t really want to draw these characters in a group image for the most part, and if I were to draw them separately, I’d only be representing two or three properties per round. So I’ve decided that I’ll start doing supporting characters for the properties I’ve already explored as early as the next round. You might also be surprised with how I approach some of these rounds. As for those characters represented in groups, those will be on my DeviantArt first like the rest of them, but I’ll see how I will represent them here on the blog. While I can’t provide exact dates as to when these rounds will happen, they will certainly be coming.
Until then, stay enlightened, educated and entertained, folks. 😉