It Is All About Trains

Bernard Goes To Music School, book for kids, children book illustration, Connie Du, ISBN 9781523864751, Kids, play, playing children, toy, toy train, train, trains, Watercolor
Bernard Goes To Music School
I wonder if all the boys in the World like to play with trains?! 
In the book that I’ve recently illustrated, Bernard Goes To Music School, I had to paint trains quite a bit. The trains were not only toy trains. It was the train in the Autumn landscape of Toronto suburbs, and even train made of kids. 
I can imaging all that noise that children will be making when reading this book 😉
Trains!
Trains!
Trains!
Choo-Choo!!!!

I tried to paint each “train” and train unique and interesting. The train above was a simple Lego type train that the boy Bernard had at home.

Next train was more as a model train. Bernard and his friend Nicholas found lots of joy playing with this train in music class.
Don’t trains too make a musical noise?! 

Connie Du new book  model trains
When the kids were playing in the class imitating a train, the last “red caboose”, our shy boy Bernard was missing (I cannot reveal what happened next, but it was quite interesting how he handled the situation later)
Bernard Goes To Music School
When painting Toronto outskirts with the speedy train, my idea was to show all the beauty of the Fall of this beautiful place in Canada. The leaves of all colors with the fast train zipping through was the best presentation of the season and how rapid the changes in the Nature could be:
autumn fall landscape with trains
And what do you think Bernard liked his mommy to read to him?
Yep, the book about Little Red Caboose:
children books illustrations
For those who is reading my blog for the first time, here is a little info on the book:

The book is called Bernard Goes To Music School, written by Connie Du. You can find this book on Amazon. Just type Irina Sztukowski in the search window or copy and insert this link into the browser
The author’s note:
Bernard, a little boy, has gone to music school to start a musical journey that is about to change him profoundly in many ways… Initially he has difficulty singing those strange funny music notes and he often feels shy around people. He and other kids receive music training from Mrs. Tania, a lovable music teacher, who inspires him to sing and love music. He needs to practice countless times before he can overcome his shyness and sing beautifully in class. He learns a lot, has a lot of fun and makes friends in his music class but his achievements wouldn’t be possible without the unfailing love and encouragement from his parents throughout the journey. At the end of this story Bernard is not so shy anymore and he really enjoys being with his friends in music school! Music is a wonderful thing that can work magic on our children. (Connie Du)
ISBN-10: 1523864753
ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Bed Time – Children Book Illustrations

bed, bedroom, Bernard Goes To Music School, book, book illustration, boy, children book, Connie Du, illustration, mom, mommy, mother, Watercolor
watercolor children books
When I painted bedroom theme for the book Bernard Goes To Music School, I wanted to show a nice cozy interior in soft pastel blues, where our boy goes not only to sleep, but reads the book with his mommy:
Children books illustration in watercolor
He tells his mom about his dreams:
Children Book illustration
And he also practices for his music school class:
Children Book illustrations in watercolor
My favorite one (besides the Reading Story illustration) was to paint the boy in the bed practicing musical notes, and the notes are flying far far away enhancing the paintings on the wall with their music 🙂
Children Book Illustration in watercolor
The main task was in these illustrations to keep the colors of the bedroom consistent; yet, to make each story standing up on its own.

For those who is reading my blog for the first time, here is a little info on the book:

The book is called Bernard Goes To Music School, written by
Connie Du. You can find this book on Amazon. Just type Irina Sztukowski in the
search window or copy and insert this link into the browser
The author’s note:
Bernard, a little boy, has gone to music school to start a
musical journey that is about to change him profoundly in many ways… Initially
he has difficulty singing those strange funny music notes and he often feels
shy around people. He and other kids receive music training from Mrs. Tania, a
lovable music teacher, who inspires him to sing and love music. He needs to
practice countless times before he can overcome his shyness and sing
beautifully in class. He learns a lot, has a lot of fun and makes friends in
his music class but his achievements wouldn’t be possible without the unfailing
love and encouragement from his parents throughout the journey. At the end of
this story Bernard is not so shy anymore and he really enjoys being with his
friends in music school! Music is a wonderful thing that can work magic on our
children. (Connie Du)
ISBN-10: 1523864753
ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Christmas In July or December?

artist, Bernard Goes To Music School, card, children book, Christmas, Connie Du, holidays, illustrator, Merry Christmas
watercolor poinsettia stockings and fireplace
Sure I know the answer :). Yet for me Christmas started practically in July this year. Those days I was painting snow and holiday themes for the book Bernard Goes To Music School. The illustrations were fun to paint. 

In these artworks, the story goes to the times when kids had to say bye to the teacher for their holiday break:
children book watercolor
And then our protagonist Bernard went home to celebrate:

watercolor book for children
But something happened at the table after dinner. Of course, I will hold myself from telling in order not to spill the beans. I couldn’t reveal in July that I was “working” on Christmas; but, I am so happy that by the real Christmas time I can share if not the story then the art from the book I’ve illustrated 🙂

Those days there was a lot of snow settling in my studio.

Daddy and Bernard walked the snowy streets to the Music School when behind my window there were flowers blooming under 94 degree sunshine:
And then they went home from the school into the cold Toronto Winter:
Brrr, it makes me cold just think about them walking through that blizzard!!!

Together we made it to the real Holidays, and now, in December, I can happily say that the book has seen the bookshelves right on time, and it will make a great holiday gift for the kids whose parents enjoy spending time and reading good encouraging stories together. 

Happy Holidays Season To Everyone!!! 
🙂






Bernard Goes To Music School – Children Book Illustration

9781523864751, art for kids, Bernard Goes To Music School, book, children, children book illustration, Connie Du, illustration, ISBN, Watercolor
art for kids Bernard Goes To Music School
A little boy Bernard goes to music school. In these three illustrations I wanted to show the action combining the story of the book with the colorful season, Fall, in this children book. 

I painted the boy anxiously anticipating the first lesson and looking through the window while riding a bus.

He gets on the bus with his dad: 
Connie Du Bernard Goes To Music School
 He ride the train:
Irina Sztukowski art for kids
And all three illustrations above needed to be placed on one page per author’s request. I drew a rainbow and two birds uniting these mini illustrations in one artwork:
children book illustration
Bernard Goes To Music School book is now published and available on Amazon.com. It is easy to find by clicking HERE or by placing Irina Sztukowski in Amazon search window.

  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Playground – Children Book Illustration

Bernard Goes To Music School, book for kids, children book, Connie Du, illustration, kids book, Playground, Watercolor, watercolour
Bernard Goes To Music School book

When I was a kid, our playground was a small courtyard blocked by two-story buildings. In the middle, there were trees with a table; and, around that mini-park were benches where we kids were sitting and playing. We had to imagine our games ourselves. We ran, we played, we laughed. The only climbing opportunities were the trees; but, the eagle-eyed grandmas that were sitting on the opposite benches of the courtyard would yell at us as soon they saw any climbing attempt. We knew that those grouchy old ladies were evil. They couldn’t climb the trees themselves, and therefore, they would prevent us from doing so! 

Ah, childhood! How wonderful is to get a glimpse of it from my memory. As imaginative kids, without specially built playground we made our own courtyard a ground of fun play.

These days a lot of kids have full equipped playgrounds; but, do they use their imagination? Can they pretend that a tree branch is a mast of a sailboat that brings you far far to the ocean’s unknown? Can today’s kids play with the candy wraps and feel super happy when winning another one from the game partner?

If I pictured my childhood playground, I’d probably focused on the movements and face emotions of the kids there. A little girl would be sending a small paper boat sailing down the pond. A boy would be sitting on the tree branch teasing the other one to hurry and to catch up. A few girls would play with their dolls on the bench. And, two sisters would be conquering a new jump-rope. 

The painting above is the illustration to Bernard Goes To Music School book. 
The playground here is a modern one. Colorful slide with other cool equipment is there. The flowers all over the place and cute benches. Safe wonderful area for kids to play. The boy is daydreaming. He is the one that is a shy person, but we learn from the book that he will overcome his shyness and have many friends in the future. I wanted to picture kids in a far background  preoccupied with their games. And the boy in front is all by himself kind of separated from the crowd. Yet, he is a cool boy in sunglasses; but, who knows maybe at this point his glasses are hiding his sad eyes. But, I promise, the story ends very good. 

More information is in the book by Connie Du on Amazon, HERE
(or, just type Irina Sztukowski (the illustrator) in the search window of the search browser there)
  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751


Time For Work – Time For Walk

art for kids, Bernard Goes To Music School, book, book for kids, children, children room, Connie Du, Irina Sztukowski, read, watercolor illustration
Bernard Goes To Music School children book illustration
In one of these two illustrations that I painted for the book “Bernard Goes To Music School” , I pictured the boy on his walk along the creek. He is curiously watching salmon swimming down the stream. The Fall season is indicated by colors in the trees on the apposite embankment and leaves on the ground. Fall has just started. Little boy loves to explore the Nature. He loves his walk!

But he also helps his parents in the garden. He is a hard worker. In the next illustration, I painted a garden filled with blooming flowers. The house is in the back lit by the morning sun. The boy has just watched his parents working in the garden, and now he is helping them by pulling this huge pipe, arranging the landscape. And, I placed a porcelain decorative Mr Frog right next to the boy as if he helps him too 🙂  

Bernard Goes To Music School book illustration
Paining children book illustrations is fun, and it is a process that needs to be well organized. The artist should not overlook any elements. They are all helping kids to explore the illustration later on, when parents are reading the specific page. The composition of the paintings would help the exploration flow. 

In these two illustrations I tried to play with diagonal composition (The Salmon Creek) where the painting’s energy is “moving” with the stream. And, in “Working Boy” I “locked” the composition on the boy with the pipe by placing tulip flowers on the left of the illustration and the frog to the right of it. 

Bernard Goes To Music School book is now published and available on Amazon.com. It is easy to find by clicking HERE or by placing Irina Sztukowski in Amazon search window.

  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751

I See Squirrel – Children Book Illustration

art for kids, Bernard Goes To Music School, boy, Butterfly, children book illustration, Connie Du, illustration, Irina Sztukowski, Painting, road, Squirrel
Bernard Goes To Music School by Connie Du
Link to the illustration is HERE
In this illustration from the book Bernard Goes To Music School, I pictured the boy happily walking down the street and enjoying warm summer weather. The trees and bushes are in bloom indicating early Summer. The birds are in the sky. Way up on the tall tree branch I placed a squirrel eating the nut. Boy just saw the squirrel. But he is still here up to a big surprise: a little bunny is hiding under the bush. And how about a colorful butterfly?! In just a second it will take off and bring so much joy to the boy. 

All these elements of the illustration, including the road that vanishes in the atmospheric perspective, were composed the way that children, when they see the page and while parent is reading the text from the book Bernard Goes To Music School, kids will first see the boy, then their eyes will try to find a squirrel and of course they will discover bunny and the butterfly in a very short time. Yet after that they again will focus on the boy, the main character of the page and the book.

The illustration was painted, of course in correlation with the text on the page. The whole story is in the book on Amazon.com ( HERE ).

  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Children Book Illustration – Boy In The Garden

artwork for kids, Bernard Goes To Music School, book illustration, boy, children book, Connie Du, garden, illustration, illustrator
Bernard Goes To Music School book
In this illustration, that actually the first opening artwork in the book “Bernard Goes To Music School”  I painted the boy in front, next to the flowers. His shy nature is shown in the movement towards the flowers. He wants to smell them. Through the pink of the surrounding blooms I wanted to portray not only a beginning of a great season, but as well as the character of the protagonist.    

And here is the funny note:
First, I wanted to paint a bee sitting on one of the peony flower. I almost started; but, something stopped me. I thought that the bee, as cute as it could be, will be somehow a danger to a little boy’s nose. 
I am glad I prevented the “tragedy” 😉

Painting this illustration was fun and I loved later on getting through all four seasons in the illustrations of this book.

The book is now published and it is
on Amazon for little readers to explore. 

  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751

Bernard Goes To Music School – Book Is Now Published

Bernard Goes To Music School, book for kids, children book, Connie Du, illustrations, illustrator, new book, Watercolor
Connie Du author

The illustration that became a part of the cover page contains the scene from the music lesson. 
A little boy is eagerly listening his teacher Tania playing a new song. 
As an artist I wanted to include flowers and musical notes in the composition as if a song, who knows, can be a Walz Of The Flowers (by Piotr Tchaikovsky). The bond between the teacher and the pupil is also developed through the music and the composition choice: I placed the teacher looking at the boy and the boy is facing the teacher. 
The color choices are Spring like: soft pink, grass green, and fresh mellow yellow. The whole painting is breathing music and a new season. 
                                
                            This new book is now published. 
It is available on Amazon HERE
(or, just type Irina Sztukowski into Amazon search window)
  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751

New Book For Children – Coming Soon

Bernard Goes To Music School, book for children, children book, Connie Du, illustration, Irina, Sztukowski
Children Book Illustrations
With great excitement I want to share big news about a wonderful assignment that was “cooking” in my art studio for the last six-seven months.  
At the end of March of this year I was approached by a Canadian author, Connie Du, with a proposal to illustrate her new book
“Bernard Goes To Music School”. 
We started working on this project in April and now the book is in the print. 

It is understandable that I couldn’t release full information until the date of the publishing was established. But now, I am so glad I can share the story of how I illustrated this book, my choices of color themes, composition decisions, and how it is to work on children book illustration in collaboration with the author. 

I will be presenting some of the illustrations and my artist’s story about creation in the next posts. Right now, I am extremely happy that the book is almost published; and, soon many kids in the World can read a wonderful exiting story about boy Bernard, who went to music school. 

I will be posting my works of art into a special Gallery on my website www.artirina.com , the Gallery that is called

******************
and here is update from 10/25/16. The book is now published and it is available on Amazon.com

  • ISBN-10: 1523864753
  • ISBN-13: 9781523864751