View Full Version : Once Upon A Time - Bill Peet - October

10-01-2009, 10:39 AM
Bill Peet (January 29, 1915 – May 11, 2002) was an American children's book illustrator and a story writer for Disney Studios. He joined Disney in 1937 and worked on The Jungle Book, Song of the South, Cinderella, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Goliath II, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other stories.

I came to know his works through his children's books and the very bright colored illustrations. There is always a certain yellow in most of his drawings and I'm wondering if that is his favorite color. But his children books illustrations are all outstanding if not the story itself.

My favorite is The Unsinkable Serpent.

You could see his official site with a lot of his unpublished works here.


Here is an overview of his career. His real name was Bill Peed and he changed it because he was teased about it as a child and he didn't want his children to be teased equally.


For a detail view of his works, go to google book search here where they have many pages posted of many of his books.

Draw in the style of his illustrations but do not copy since he is a contemporary artist.





10-01-2009, 11:39 AM
Looks like a fascinating illustrator. Looking forward to studying his art. That autobiography looks good...do you have a copy of it?

Thanks for hosting this project Sandra:heart: :heart:

10-02-2009, 10:05 PM
Kermit the Hermit's my favourite!:thumbsup:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Oct-2009/120243-KermitTheHermit.akadruid.jpeg

10-03-2009, 02:29 PM
Here is my first piece and the photo though is from October Landscape Challenge (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=586076) and I cartoonized it.

Bill Peet probably used colored pencils back then for I could see his bold pencil marks. But as I say, I don't have a whole lot of patience for thin colored pencil marks. I took my Cretacolor Carre Hard Pastel and did this in color, smudged it, sprayed fixative on it and then used my Pentel Pocket Calligraphy Brushpen to do pen work. I didn't even want to bother with scratchy rapidograph pen today nor dip pen.

I'm very pleased with this piece. My first cartoony countryside landscape.

Academie Heavyweight Sketchbook 8.5 x 11 inch
Cretacolor Carre Hard Pastel Sticks
Pentel Pocket Calligraphy Brushpen


10-03-2009, 04:01 PM
You should be pleased Sandra. It's a wonderful illustration. Makes me happy just to look at it. :heart:

10-04-2009, 07:38 AM
just a happy picture, Sandra......looks like fun

10-04-2009, 05:48 PM
That is a marvellous cartoony-style landscape, Sandra.

I see Bill Peet liked to use colour pencils. I have never read any of his books. I must see if the library has any.

10-04-2009, 06:37 PM
Thank you, June, Robin, Janet, for your comments.

I've been just sketching loosely today with Cray Pas Junior Oil Pastel.

This one is based on October Landscape Challenge (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=586076).


This one is based on a photo from Southwest October Challenge (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=586147).


10-05-2009, 07:53 AM
Hi Sandra...what a neat style for a kid's book.

I ordered a Bill Peet book from the library this morning but don't know when it'll arrive. I think its called 'cowardly Clyde'...no idea what its about or what animal.

10-05-2009, 09:50 AM
Thank you, June. June, I forgot to answer you. My library doesn't have a copy of his autobiography nor do I have one.

10-05-2009, 06:12 PM
That little red house is Perfectly Playfully Peet!:clap:

I"d be more than pleased if that was my work!

10-07-2009, 12:09 AM
Sandra - picked up a couple of books by Peet and started working on a copy today. I love his loose relaxed style. Got the drawing done - tommorrow hope to finish it up with cP's and ink. I just love this guy's approach.

10-07-2009, 12:30 AM
oopa, just read your comment about NOT copying.....guess I'll finish it but not post it......

10-07-2009, 12:32 AM
oops, just read your admonition not to copy..............

10-07-2009, 07:03 AM
This copyright thing is really frustrating. We should be able to post and copy for further study, but not sell. I can see the point if you are copying a living artist. Well, I guess it's better to be on the safe side :(

Can you change your image somewhat so that isn't a direct copy? :heart:

10-07-2009, 09:51 AM
Thank you, Chris, Robin, for your comments. Robin, with your fertile mind, I'm sure you could come up with something. Looking forward to your piece.

10-09-2009, 08:53 PM
I am gonna finish the study and post it on my blog as a study.......I enjoyed reading the biographical/autobiographical link. He was a wonderful artist. I noticed how all the objects in his drawings have good interaction in regards to placement. Do you know what I mean?. Sometimes when I draw stuff seems to be not positioned in good relationship space wise. His people and objects touch or stand separate but together. The lines in his drawings are so loose and free you KNOW he KNEW what he was drawing from the heart.

10-15-2009, 07:27 PM
I've been contemplating on what to design next and I saw one tiger in his book just now and I went ahead and design a companion. Seems like I never could get away from the "Birds do it, bees do it" scenarios. :lol: :lol: :lol: I noticed that he doesn't usually use plain colors but like to mix colors to make it more dynamic. So I didn't use any browns.

"Lusty Tigers"

Prismacolor pencils
Elmer's Paintastic Brushpen - black
Pacon Drawing Paper
Image size 7x7 inch


10-16-2009, 12:36 AM
Gee Sandra, you are really good at adopting his style into your drawing. I finished my study here


10-16-2009, 01:08 PM
Sandra, I love your bold, energetic tigers romping!!

Robin,the camel and elephant illustration on your blog is a beauty too.

I haven't got started anything for this yet...

10-16-2009, 06:40 PM
Thank you, Robin, for your comment. You did a very nice piece on your blog, Robin. I couldn't almost tell the difference from the real thing.

Thank you, June. It could be interesting.

10-17-2009, 03:00 PM
Another creation of mine with Bill Peet's style.

Elmer's Paintastics Green brushpen
Prismacolor pencils
9 x 6 inch image size
Pacon drawing pad


10-17-2009, 09:02 PM
Here is my second creation to the day, a composite of a few of Bill Peet's work but I changed all the buildings, the foreground and main characters.

The birds are whistling birds from Brian's photo at the Photo Paint Along in October (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8222342&postcount=25).

Chinese brush and Chinese ink
Prismacolor pencils
9 x 12 inch full sheet
Pacon Drawing pad

I really like this drawing paper. It's only $1 for 40 sheets and it has a bit of a weave to it.


10-20-2009, 10:17 AM
Here's my contribution.

Jaunty fox, cp and pen on watercolour paper.

Actually, I didn't think I'd like this combo of cp and pen, but I found it really good to use.:thumbsup:

10-20-2009, 11:40 AM
Sandra, love that crazy little critter in the rushes. What an expression. The city is great and very Bill Peet.

June, I think the ink and colored pencil looks good....but you are the boss over your own work. If you don't like it, don't use it again. It's a neat looking fox anyway.

10-20-2009, 06:16 PM
Thank you, Janet. That critter is supposed to be a South American rodent called capybara. Cute little thing.

June, your fox looks very lively. Very good penstrokes to show its contours. What is it that you didn't like about the pen? Lines too thin?

I think Bill Peet used dip pen. It has variable width and yet the lines are very crisp, unlike using a brush for fine details. The thing that amazes me is that he even put penstrokes in the yellow grass with black marks and still be convincing.

10-21-2009, 02:44 AM
We got our wires crossed methinks!! I do like this combo of pen and cp!! I enjoyed doing the fox...and it was so quick to do...a few scribbley cp colours. I'd like to experiment some more with cp!!

I used a fairly fine pen...not a dip pen...so it might be good to try other types of pens. I have a dip pen and bamboo pens etc. Using pens....It kind of gets me neatly to the Chinese art project!!:thumbsup:

10-21-2009, 07:43 AM
Sorry! Sorry! Should have re-read instead of sending message that was picked up by Sandra and heaven knows where these things lead. Forgive me. :(

CP and Ink it is and a pretty neat fox too.

10-21-2009, 09:44 AM
Oh dear, I think I need to go back to grade school. LOL. I too didn't read too thoroughly. So yes, you didn't think you would like this combo but you do. Got it. Glad you like it. I have a bamboo pen too but it frustrates me so much because it doesn't pick up much ink and I have to constantly re-ink. The dip pen could go even further.

June, have you tried the G-nib before? I'm planning to buy one as soon as I get my first paycheck. I got a part time job starting today.

It's supposed to be THE nib that Japanese manga artist used because of its flexibility. I'm thinking it's like the 107 nib I have but perhaps even more.

I often use the Japanese calligraphy brushpen with fibre tip and cartridge ink if I need to ink very serious nude figure work with non-stop flow. For art only for fun, I ink only with Chinese brush and ink which is cheaper.

10-21-2009, 12:13 PM
Ok... no problem at all.

Just had to say the combo was quite nice to use. CP is a good alternative to OP for instance..especially if you want to work small or do fine detail.

10-21-2009, 12:16 PM
Sandra, I really love the last 2 illustrations you posted. The cityscape is richly coloured and full of interest. Just the kind of detail children like. I also like to cat on the rock...great expressions here.

10-21-2009, 08:10 PM
Thanks Sandra - your kitten crossing the creek is fun. The water reflections are great and the expression on the cat is perfect. Your brush strokes show alot of control. The cattails are a nice touch. BUT your city scape is soooo cool. I 'd like to do something like that sometime, alot of personality.
You listed the Pacon drawing pad in the description. Where do you purchase them? I'm interested .

June - the fox is really good. Kinda reminds me of Beatrix Potter's work. Your line work is excellent, expecially the paws and fore legs. Your passion for animals shines.

10-22-2009, 09:16 AM
I got the Pacon drawing pad from Target. The dollar stores, cheap places have sketchbooks that has rougher weave. Put it closer to your eyes and if you see small little squares, those are the one to get. For the longest time, I use Academie Heavyweight Sketchbook from Walmart because it has a slightly rougher and tougher structure. I still use those if I have to do watercolor sketching and oil pastel or anything to throw around because it could take watermedia without warping too much at 80 lbs. And it's only $3.92 for 70 sheets.

Thanks for comments on my cityscape. I am hoping to do a night scene of Hong Kong in his style. For the longest time, I have been attempting night cityscapes with color pencils and monotone charcoal, pencil, or ink but now there is another way. Hope you would give it a try too.

10-22-2009, 09:43 PM
Yeah, I hope to give it a try too!!! I love Bill's approach, so loose but you can tell he loves to draw and is good at it.

Thanks for the paper source information.

10-27-2009, 06:21 PM
Sandra, you have done some wonderful work here – love the little red house and the ducks in the city.:clap:

Robin, beautiful Pamela Camel study.:thumbsup:

June, I just love that lively little fox.:thumbsup:

I know we are not supposed to copy, but I just couldn’t resist the horse and cart from one of Bill Peet’s illustrations… made the rest my own though.:wink2:


10-27-2009, 09:04 PM
Inky, beautiful piece. Lively train with smoke and people in the street. Above all, good colors. Very cartoony!!! Thanks for joining in. Ah, I see you run a shop in that place! LOL...Cute!

10-28-2009, 10:57 AM
Inky, that is a wonderful piece. I do love the colouring.

10-29-2009, 02:45 PM
Inky - delightful piece