Lucy in a Simple Drawing

“Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she’s gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain,
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you’re gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties.
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile,
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds”

When I was in school, a long time ago, in a land far away, I used to spend many hours trying to come up with essays about the hidden meanings in poems, novels and such. A real torture! I remember thinking all along: why do we have to write about this? Can we just enjoy the images as they come to life? Now that I don’t write about it, I just enjoy the images and sometimes draw them. Like I did with “Lucy”.

OK, so it’s not Wordsworth, but “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is one of those songs that everybody knows and sometimes wonders what it is about. Well, it turns out that (contrary to the urban myth) it’s about this drawing made by Julian Lennon of his school mate, Lucy. And about things that a kid could dream up. At least, that’s how I saw it and I’m sticking to it!

Getting to the final version wasn’t all that obvious, because I kept second guessing myself about this or that color and this or that composition element, but in the end it all came together. I have had this idea about starting a series based on miss-interpreted songs. There are at least a couple that I can think of that could use to be put just plainly in a drawing. I will keep you posted when that happens. In the meantime, there are a few other ideas that really need some attention.

Talk soon,


(Disclaimer: Shameless self-promotion) You can find beautiful full color art prints of “Lucy” in the Picture a Tale Society 6 store.

Story Time – “DIY Fairy Tale”

Ok, I admit it: the storytelling games in my last post were more on the “ready-made” side. And while there’s nothing wrong with that from time to time, in my mind there’s no replacement to good old pencil and paper when it comes to fun.

Here is an idea for a DIY storytelling game. It encourages creative thinking and develops drawing skills, although no pressure on the latter.

Most fairy tales are made up of 6 elements. So, to start, each child takes a piece of paper an draws a circle that she then divides in 6 slices. Then, in each slice, they drawn answer to the following questions:

1. What is the main character? Where does he/she live? What is the landscape there like?
2. What is her/his quest/mission/problem to solve?
3. Do they have somebody helping them? How?
4. What obstacle comes in the way of the character’s quest?
5. How will he/she deal with it?
6. What happens in the end?

When they are done drawing, everybody will tell their story to the others. Then they will file the drawing away for later, when they are comic book artists and need some inspiration.

(This game appears on, a great website for teaching resources.)

Enjoy story time and talk soon!


So, here we are: it’s been already a year of Picture a Tale online!

It has been a sometimes fast, sometimes slow year, with a long break right in the middle of it for which I have an adorable, one-toothed excuse.

It has been a year of lessons, some of the “yay, I got it!” variety, some (most) of the more banging-head-against-the-wall kind.

It has been a year of making connections with other talented and self-driven people.

It has been a year of rediscovering how great it is to just sit down and draw sometimes and not think about how many “likes” the Facebook page has or how many people will retweet it.

Before we move on into year 2, I want to send out a big thank you to you all: blog readers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Etsy shoppers and all the other very supportive people who like tales and art!

Happy birthday, Picture a Tale!

Talk soon,


Update: read all about it!

With no seasons and daily routines fit for a 2 year-old, time flies unawares!

Even if I don’t feel it, October is half-way over and it’s time to start planning for the holidays and after. Here is what I have on my “to do” list so far:

  • * November SALE!
  • * On the blog: restart the “storytelling games” series of posts and start a new series about some cool things I found on Etsy (nope, still haven’t kicked that habit). I have a few other things that I wanted to share, but more about that later.
  • * Start working on a set of drawings based on nursery rhymes. I will probably need some help in picking the funniest, quirkiest ones. There will also be a booklet with the actual rhymes.
  • * A couple of giveaways on Facebook (this is where the help will be repaid).

So far that’s it. And now that it’s written it can’t be unwritten, so I’ll need to stick with it! I guess the time for napping is long gone.

Talk soon,


When “Adult” Authors Get Childish – “We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie”

(via wetoowerechildren)

A couple of weeks ago, I got a wonderful and unexpected gift: “The Prague Cemetery” by Umberto Eco. It was unexpected, because I had no idea that Eco had a new book out. With so many other things going on, literary news slips by too often. It was wonderful, because I love his books: they remind me of Old Europe that I miss so much sometimes and they are the kind of books that make reading very mentally-stimulating.

As it turns out, Umberto Eco is also a children’s book author. I recently came across “We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie”, a blog about children’s books by “adult” twentieth century authors. Did you know that James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, e e cummings, Eugene Ionesco or Toni Morrison all wrote books for children? Some, it seems, made them more fun than others (see the post about Virginia Woolf). The author of the blog, Ariel S. Winter, gives us a complete account on the background and meaning of many of the books he presents. Why? In his own words:

WHEN I FIRST STARTED WE TOO WERE CHILDREN, MR. BARRIE, one of the things I hoped to examine was the way in which an author accustomed to writing for adults conceived of writing for children. Why? Because, as many authors included on the blog have noted, childhood reading is often the reading that is most influential on a writer (or on any individual). Consequently, if a writer who is aware of the importance of childhood reading writes what he hopes will be an influential text for the next generation, how does what he includes in that text reveal what he thinks is most important to literature?

Take a look when you have a chance!

Talk soon,