The following four images are from a series of phonics instruction books called “Sam and Friends,” a collaboration between myself and Mark Pennington of Pennington Publishing. The idea here is that most phonics books are designed for elementary age students. The Sam and Friends series is for ESL students and older students just learning to read for the first time. Thus the books feature older kids dealing with situations that adolescents would find themselves in. Hop over to Pennington Publishing to purchase the series. Also, follow me on Facebook for more great stuff!
Who doesn’t love reading outside? Especially with the huge storm coming our way today that will threaten to keep us indoors? Actually reading inside by a roaring fire sounds pretty good too.
This image is recycled from another project. The original is much larger and has another girl in it as well. I cropped the image of the girl reading to use on a poster to promote Free Reading Fridays. This is a slightly modified version where I worked out all the stuff I didn’t like in the first one. Of course, this only made some other rough spots evident, but most of the time I’m the only one that notices that.
I’m also trying to be more deliberate in my color choices now. The first thing I’m doing is working with a limited color palate – in this case, red and green. Everything here is a variation of those two colors. I’m still not pleased with how the greens work together, so I still have some work to do.
Clip art of a guy reading on a stack of books. Eventually I’ll do a color version of this (or add some black and white shading) but I loved the retro look so I wanted to post it that way. It has a Dennis the Menace by Hank Ketcham feel that I like. This was achieved on purpose (using a dip pen to do the books) and by accident (my ink is getting a little goopy so it’s harder to control it on the brush, which gave it a dip pen appearance.)
Dip pens have always been difficult for me to manage, but I’m starting to get the hang of them and really like using them. You can’t control the line very well, and this forces me to accept a more spontaneous line that normal.
These clip art images have a couple of students thrilled to be reading. Both of them feature characters I created a while ago.
This first image features a character I created a while back when I thought about the possibility of creating a syndicated newspaper strip. I had drawn a daily strip for The Lantern at the Ohio State University, so it wasn’t that far fetched an idea. However, I just couldn’t find the time to sit around and think of funny ideas all day and quickly abandoned the idea after drawing one strip. Val, the character reading here, is a holdover from that strip. She was a high-strung honors student constantly worried about getting into college and her name is short for “valedictorian.” I have always liked her design and she’s been a useful character to bring out from time to time.
This guy is named Tom and he comes from a collaboration with Mark Pennington from Pennington Publishing. We are working on a series of phonics books aimed at older students just learning to read. He is based on a guy called Norm from a previous collaboration called Teaching Grammar and Mechanics (as with all of our collaborations, Mark does the writing and I do the illustrations.)