The Lions of the NYPL
I've always loved Patience and Fortitude, the mighty lions carved of pink marble by Edward Clark Potter and the Piccirilli brothers that guard the entrance of the New York Public Library at 5th Avenue in New York City. And they sparked my imagination on my visits to that beautiful building. The idea to make a black and white wordless story about the lions had been floating around in my head for a while, and it finally came out, about one panel a week during my medical convalescence. My brothers Josh and Chris provided insightful ideas. I was inspired by the total lack of attention that New Yorkers pay to even the strangest sights, especially in close quarters, like on the subway.
All of the drawings were made with warm grey colored pencils, pencils, and white gouache. I was experimenting with drawing in black and white with a medium traditionally used for color. I used digital effects only to clean up whites, where there were smudges, and to add some of the text.
"Lions' Night Out" Mixed media (colored pencil, pencil, gouache, and digital), 2016. Copyright Jessica Boehman. Please do not reproduce without permission.
I've added a few details of some of my favorite panels below. Click on all the images to see them larger.
This is actually my dog, Ludo. I love that he has a cameo.
How delightful! As a professional storyteller, I especially love the story you have told!
4/8/2016 10:01:06 am
4/9/2016 04:59:17 am
Thanks, Linda...(I assume that is you!)
4/8/2016 05:29:33 pm
I love this so much! It's so moving.
4/9/2016 04:59:39 am
Thank you, Lu! I appreciate those kind words.
4/8/2016 07:00:02 pm
Very cute! I like the idea of inanimate objects coming to life. And animals that are thought of as strong and mean actually being soft and sweet. I have passed by these lions a thousand times and never thought much. But maybe next time I will giggle as I pass by imagining your story come true.
4/9/2016 05:00:15 am
Thank you, Marianna! I think they have more adventures, for sure. But only so much can fit on two pages!
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Hans-My-Hedgehog Illustrations is the name of Jessica Boehman's blog and illustration shop. It is named after her favorite fairy tale about a hedgehog boy who becomes king of the forest. All other pages redirect to: