Banking on Booksellers

This summer, I painted a pig. No, not a real pig, a molded, clay, piggy bank. It’s for a fundraiser offered by BINC Book Industry Charitable Foundation. Over 90 authors, illustrators, and celebrities have come together to support the only nonprofit in the country that is dedicated to helping booksellers in times of hardship. Proceeds from the auction of the banks can change the life of a bookseller. Bidding will commence on: Sunday, September 9th at 12 noon EST. Bidding will end on Saturday, September 15th at 12 noon EST.
Here’s a link to the auction.

And here is my process for painting my Hipster Pig and Hotrod Pig:

When BINC approached me about painting a piggy bank, I worried about what to paint. Blank canvas, the possibilities were endless. I got artists block. I thought about some of my artist friends. They simply paint the things that make them happy, things they love. Well, I love old cars. I have old model cars scattered all over my art studio. So, I wondered if I could convert the pig to an old 55 Ford Farelane/Crown Victoria. Let’s see.




First, I covered the bank with gesso, a painting medium and a great base for acrylic paint. Then, using a pencil, I drew the outlines of the car on the bank, with a scale model Crown Victoria as reference. I followed that up with a sepia color value study, wanting to establish the darkest areas of the car.


Then I painted the entire car with a lighter coat of sepia. I love the way colors show through revealing the sepia underpainting—it has almost an electric feel, especially with complimentary colors like blue and green.


After that, I began to paint in the colors. I had to really use my imagination, because a Crown Victoria looks nothing like a pig! I layered color over color, darker colors first, lighter colors on top, just like how I would paint for one of my books.


I lined up my pic with some of my real model cars. Hey, it really looks like a car! I was so happy with the final product, that I decided to paint a second. But what? Well, what do I like? I like coolness—cool glasses, cool socks, cool bow ties! I’d paint a Hipster Pig!


And this was the end result! My pig comes complete with hipster glasses, handlebar mustache and beard, tattoos, and cool socks!

Here are the other piggy banks! Some of these are painted by my favorite children’s book illustrators, like Denise Fleming, Grace Lin, Nina Laden, David Shannon, and other celebrities like Chelsa Clinton, and others!

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