I have just finished a new artwork! Badger in the Oak Woods.
As a one off piece it means I can take my time over the art. I altered parts of the picture again and again until I felt pleased with the mage.
I was going to attempt to paint this straight onto the drawing conventionally, but I mucked it up! Luckily I had scanned the drawing first as a precaution, as I suspected it would be beyond my watercolour skills to pull this off on cartridge paper at such a small size. I had scanned the image at 600 dpi - the larger the better! So... in Photoshop I started to lay down a base layer of colour...
I felt that I had created a problem with the monoliths in the clearing. I made the badger smaller and the monoliths larger. But after a deal of fiddling I decided to push the stones out into the distance and add the fox...
This artwork is now available in my shop! You can have a poster, a print or a greeting card, even a mug! There are many gifts with this design go have a look!
This little koala character first appeared in 2006 in my first picture book If Big Can... I Can written by Beth Shoshan and published by Meadowside. The book was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards for Best Emerging Illustrator. I really like the little chap and hope you will too. He needs a lovely home to go to. The size of the paper is 8" x 10" so you could just pop him in a standard size frame. I used watercolour pencils and colour studio pencils plus white gouache on pro artist quality cartridge paper, to create the picture. So if you'd be interested in owning a bit of original art then follow the link below...
I've just added a new original drawing onto Ebay HERE
It's a copy from the 'Hush Little Baby' 2007 book published by Tiger Tales.
At long last I've started to set up a range of signed prints which you can purchase from my new Etsy Store. It's early days and there are only a few available at the moment but I shall continue to add to the range as and when I can.
Etsy - DappleyGlade - The art of illustrator Petra Brown
I'm using a Canon MG8150 printer and printing on Bockingford Inkjet Watercolour paper which is acid free, archival quality. It has a beautiful random surface texture which enhances the finished print. I print using genuine Canon Pixma ChromaLife100+ ink. Canon claim that these prints can last over 200 years in a photo album, approx. 40-years on display behind glass and 10-years without the glass.
I'm so pleased with the quality of print... I think it looks like an original.
All my prints are open edition prints but if I sell more than 10 copies of an artwork then I'll alter a small detail in the artwork so the first ten will be slightly different than subsequent copies.
Returning customers will get bonus gifts as a way of saying thank you :o)
A Horse Named Jack written by Linda Vander Heyden
Jack the horse just loves when kids come to visit him on the farm! But today he's bored, bored, BORED. So Jack unlatches his stall - click - and heads out for an adventure, wreaking havoc through the farm before escaping into the neighbour's garden for a snack.
This rhyming story counts up to ten as Jack makes his way across the farm and then counts back down as he races home - with the neighbour hot on his heels.
Published by Sleeping Bear Press.
I had fun with this one... lots of different animals to draw: roosters and chickens, kittens and cats, bees and spiders, piglets, dogs, song birds, rabbits, frogs, and of course... a horse!
Available to buy now! :o)
Review from 'The Simple Moms'
With the devastating events that have been occurring around the country these past few weeks I thought that I’d move up my schedule for sharing this wonderful new book from our friends at Sleeping Bear Press. I won’t even pretend to understand what people who have been personally impacted by a devastating event such as a hurricane, forest fire, or tornado go through, but I will say that it breaks my heart to see these displaced families and my children are always concerned for the families and people affected.
To help with some of the questions my children have been having about what happens after an event like a big storm we have been reading When the Wind Blew by Petra Brown. This book is for ages 4-8 but even older kids (like my almost 10 year old) can benefit from the conversations that this book can easily start for you.
The book starts with Big Bear and Little Bear sleeping in their snug and cozy den, when Little Bear is woken by a loud scary sound. In the morning Big Bear and Little Bear expect to start their day as normal and instead find that a storm raged through overnight and damaged the surrounding forest.
Big Bear and Little Bear then set out to find a new home where they will still be able to find food and shelter. Throughout their long day of travel we hear some of Little Bear’s fears, “Did the wind hurt the water?” And “What if all the trees in the world had blown down?”
At the end of the day Little Bear and Big Bear find their new home and Little Bear comes to the realization that “… when I’m with you, wherever we are, I feel I’m at home.”
Petra Brown does a lovely job of tackling a very scary subject for kids and making it much less scary with her friendly illustrations and cute interactions between Big Bear and Little Bear. I really appreciate how this has made it easy to reassure my kids that as long as we’re safe and together we are home.
Review by NC Teacher Stuff
When The Wind Blew
written and illustrated by Petra Brown
2017 (Sleeping Bear Press)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
They looked in wonder at all the broken stumps and ragged roots. Yesterday the trees had stretched up to the sky, high above their heads.
Little Bear hears big noises outside his cave. He is nervous. Big Bear assures him they are safe. Little Bear, comforted, goes back to sleep. When they wander outside their cave in the morning, they see all of the trees that have been downed by the wind. The good news? For today, it will be easier to get to the fruit and honey they crave. The bad news? They have to find a new cave because the fruit trees will stop producing and the bees will go elsewhere. This is a nice piece of cause and effect that could be pointed out in a first or second grade classroom. All throughout, Big Bear reassures Little Bear with an optimistic attitude. The two float down the river until they come to a place to walk onshore. Walking alongside the river, the bear duo comes to a valley where the trees are upright because they are protected by a cliff. Again, Big Bear reminds Little Bear that, like the trees, he is always going to be protected. After a bit of a tricky walk involving gaps to jump and trees to slide down, they find a place with shady tall trees, honey, and fruit. In addition, there is a new cave that they can call home. As they curl up in their new home, Little Bear remarks, "I don't miss our old den at all. Because when I'm with you, wherever we are, I feel I'm at home." Tell me you didn't just go all "Awww!" inside. And that's exactly what your class will do.
This is a terrific book to read to young children in the face of a natural disaster. It's so important to comfort them in these situations. When the Wind Blew also serves as a model of what to do when things go wrong. The bears stay optimistic and move on to find a solution. As previously noted, there are also several examples of cause and effect and there's some nice opportunities here to talk about habitats and life cycles as well. On top of all that, this is a sweet book that will be a nice bedtime story too.
Posted by Jeff Barger
Review by Picture Book Depot
Change can be scary, especially a change caused by a natural event or disaster that is out of our hands. That’s the premise of author Petra Brown’s newest picture book, When the Wind Blew.
The book opens to a quiet night of snoozing, snuggling and sweet dreams as a big brown bear and a cuddly little bear get their beauty sleep. As little ones are prone to do, Little Bear awakes the moment he hears a “roaring sort of sound,” but he soon goes back to sleep when Big Bear reassures him that it’s only the wind.
But when Little Bear and Big Bear finally awake and step outside to fetch breakfast, Little Bear is shocked. The forest trees that stretched to the sky only yesterday have been knocked over by the wind. Things seem scary and uncertain. Thanks goodness Big Bear is there to answer questions.
When the Wind Blew is a visually and conceptually beautiful book that is so much more than just a book about forest animals. It is also about life and the lightning-fast and ofttimes irreversible changes that happen as we live it — and in many cases, often while little ones are asleep. It is about adults and guardians providing stability and security and words of wisdom and comfort when scary things happen. It’s about children gaining strength from that wisdom and realizing that life does indeed go on.
Ms. Brown’s prose is sweet, innocent and so realistic that young readers will easily identify with Little Bear’s hopes and fears. Her illustrations capture the warm and fuzzy look that we associate with bears, including expressions of love, confusion and hope on the bears’ faces. She uses soft pastels and warm earth tones to offer picture book lovers everything from the peaceful darkness of the bears’ slumber chamber to the shocking view of once-proud trees snapped off at their base to a pristine lake flanked by soft blue mountains.
Use this book in early elementary classrooms as a jumping off point for discussions about change, fear, and moving forward in life. This book also makes a nice lap book before, during or just after stormy evenings at home.
I am proud to introduce Big Bear and Little Bear. They appear in my new book 'When The Wind Blew'.
I illustrated and wrote this one, so it's all my fault if you don't like it... but you will, you will, I'm sure!
The story begins with a wild storm in the night. The two bears are safe in their den, but wake in the morning to find that the wind has blown down all the trees in their beloved forest! Big Bear helps Little Bear understand what has happened and how they will have to find a new home. When you are a little bear big life changes can be worrying and hard to deal with, but if you have a big bear who loves you, a bear who is positive and calm and kind, well... then obstacles can be overcome without too much anxiety. Life will move forward, and sometimes, with a little luck, life can become a little better.
'When the Wind Blew' is available to buy now. Published by Sleeping Bear Press.
Rags, Hero Dog of WWI: A True Story won the Intermediate Grades Charlotte Award!
New York readers enjoyed learning about the little dog's Rags battlefield exploits and how he would not leave his soldier's side.
Named for the main character in E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, the purpose of the NYSRA Charlotte Award is to encourage students to read outstanding literature and ultimately become life-long readers. The award has been given every two years by the New York State Reading Association. A committee of educators from across the state determines a ballot of excellent fiction and informational texts published in the previous two years. The winning authors and illustrators are chosen by NY students.
Books are voted upon by students in four categories: primary (preschool through grade two), intermediate (grades three through five), middle school, and high school. Over 5,000 votes were cast in this school year by NY students for the 2016 award.
I'm so thrilled that Rags has won another award! It's such a shame that Margot Theis Raven, the author, is no longer with us to enjoy the book's success. Sadly Margot passed away in 2014, Rags was her last book.
Find out more about the author...
Rags, Hero Dog of WWI: A True Story - Awards:
2016 Teachers' Choice Awards for Children's Book, Winner, 2016
2016 Storytelling World Awards, Winner, 2016
2016 New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award, Winner, 2016
Comstock Read Aloud Book Awards , Commended, 2015
2014 USA Best Books Award - Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Non-Fiction Category, Short-listed, 2014
When Sid hears that Geraint will be playing for the Cwmhendy rugby team, he's determined to help his best friend... the only thing is that he doesn't know anything about playing rugby! Nothing at all. Can Sid help Geraint win the game?
This story will delight young readers - full of fun and disaster!
This is Tanya James' second Sid book - read about Sid and the Cwmhendy Dog Show too!
I was thrilled when Gomer Press, a publishing company based in Llandysul, west Wales, asked me to illustrate the next 'Sid' adventure. I'd had so much fun illustrating the first of Tanya James' books- 'Sid and the Cwmhendy Dog Show' I wanted 'in' on the next!
Tanya's books are so much fun and really charming. She based the character of Sid on her own beloved jack russell terrier...
Tanya L. James
Review from - Parents in Touch
Sid and the Rugby Match by Tanya James
Sid is back in a new story and this time he wants to help Geraint and the Cwmhendy Rugby team. The trouble is, he knows nothing about rugby, so his efforts to help don't quite work out - but who could be cross wih such a lovable little dog? It's a lovely story, with plenty of humour - and Welsh readers will appreciate the use of some Welsh words and idioms. Petra Brown's lovely illustrations capture Sid and all the rest of the characters perfectly. With its short chapters and plentiful illsutrations, the book is perfect for newly confident readers.
I'm really pleased to report that 'Rags' was selected as an honor book for the eleventh annual Comstock Read Aloud Book Award.
It was one of three honor books chosen for the 9-12 yr-old category. The award is given to the best picture books to read aloud to children from age nine to twelve. The winner of this category was 'What to do When You're Sent to Your Room' by Ann Stott illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. 629 picture books published in 2014 were submitted by publishers for the award. These books were read aloud to 21,990 children.
The following is an excerpt from the official site-
Rags: Hero Dog of WWI: A True Story written by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Petra Brown and published by Sleeping Bear Press, 2014.
Rags, a stray dog, is rescued in Paris during WWI by Army Private James Donovan. When Donovan is sent to the battlefield, Rags goes along and helps the soldiers by chasing mice and rats out of the trenches, warning of incoming shells, delivering messages, and boosting the soldiers' morale. During a battle, Private Donovan and Rags are both wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States and Rags refuses to leave his side and so returns to the U.S. with him.
Both students and teachers felt that this was a heartwarming story. Several comments were made about the story being sad, but one student replied it was a “good kind of sad.” Students liked that it was a true story which described a unique part of history during WWI. One group summed it up by stating, “We want to meet Rags.”
Background information on War Dogs of WWI and an epilogue that describes how Rags spent his final years are included.
Margot Theis Raven was born in Indianapolis, IN on August 30, 1950 and died in Mt. Pleasant, SC on August 16, 2014. Raven was an accomplished fine art painter and a national award winning author. Rags: Hero Dog of WWI was her last book and was released just weeks before her death.
Petra Brown, the illustrator, lives in North Wales, UK and has been a children’s book illustrator since 2006.