Check out this reading of 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by the author Tony Medina. Back in 2018 I was one of 13 artists to contribute an illustration to this beautiful book. You can get a copy here.
Hey readers. My name is Rob and I’m a kids book author and illustrator. This is a throwback to the cover design for the book “Sam!” written by poet/parent Dani Gabriel, published by Penny Candy Books, and illustrated by me.
Here are the initial sketches I came up with. One with a scene from the book, and two new ones.
They chose the 1st idea and this being a relatively quick process I went straight to a refined sketch of that which you see here. For the sketch I typically use a non photo blue pencil, a ruler, a #2 pencil, and an 11″ x 17″ piece of paper so I can draw the back together as a layout.
Once everyone signed off on this I use my light box to trace the sketch using a Prismacolor black pencil.
Then I add color using a large flat brush to lay down a wash first then I build up the color slowly from light to dark using the medium flat, the round, and the fine liner .
I use a bunch of watercolor brands to find the right colors. These are some of them.
When you paint with acrylic or gouache you can layer light over dark, but with watercolor its much harder so you must use light colors first, then darks. This is what. the painting looks like once I’ve finished. If you get a chance, read the book. Share it with families and check out some of the other books Penny Candy publishes HERE.
Hey, please check out this kickstarter to help publisher Penny Candy Books reprint this wonderful book written by Afro Latinx poet Tony Medina from NYC and illustrated by 13 Black illustrators from all over the country including yours truly.
If this campaign is successful this book will go into its 5th printing. That means hella people have loved it and purchased it. But, there are plenty of kids who have never seen it. Check out the video, campaign, and throw down if you got a few bucks. Kickstarter LINK
Just wanted to share some news about “13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy” that I illustrated for author Tony Medina/ Penny Candy Books along with 12 other illustrators. It was included in the NY Times magazine “Wirecutter’s” list of Anit-racist books for children.
Here’s a synopsis of the book in case you missed it:
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina offers a fresh perspective of young men of color by depicting thirteen views of everyday life: young boys dressed in their Sunday best, running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers, and much more. Each of Tony Medina’s tanka is matched with a different artist—including recent Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award recipients.
If you’d like a copy you can purchase it from me now HERE.
Just got my copies, bout to read with Dani tonight at the El Cerrito Public library. And you can get copies at your local bookstore, public library, or order them online HERE.
Again, here’s the synopsis of the story:
Sam is a nine-year-old boy who loves riding his bike and learning about the American Revolution. There’s just one problem: Sam’s family knows him as a girl named Isabel. Sam feels a sense of relief when he finally confides in his sister Maggie, and then his parents, even though it takes them a while to feel comfortable with it. But with lots of love and support, Sam and his family learn and grow through Sam’s journey to embrace his true self. In the vein of I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Sam! is based on a real story. With a note from the author explaining their family’s experience, Sam! is an important addition to a list of books that help children and adults discuss gender identity.
Hey, just saw our first review for the book me and author Dani Gabriel created for Penny Candy Books. Check it out, as it talks about two other children’s books that feature stories with LGBTQ stories. Shout out to the homie Bao Phi!!
Hey! The first book release party for Sam! is coming. On Tuesday September 17th in El Cerrito California (North of Berkeley/Oakland) me and author Dani Gabriel will be sharing this incredible story with you. Please bring your children, family, and book lover friends to hang. I look forward to seeing you.
Here’s a quick update. More info coming soon. To stay updated please go and follow Penny Candy Books via their newsletter or social media. Really excited to be working with Dani Gabriel (Poet Laureatte) and Penny Candy again!