Nursery Rhyme Art Project: Test Sketches


Hi, friends.  Today I’m going to share some of my test sketches from my current art project.  Last week I talked about the influences that went into it, and today I’ll show you how I began to bring the project out of my head and onto paper.

The first step was to break down the nursery rhyme (“Sing a Song of Sixpence”) into different parts.  I chose four:  the sixpence, the rye, the birds in the pie, and a crown to represent the king.  I used Google Images to look for inspiration in each of these areas.  Then I did little test sketches to see how it felt to draw each image more or less as I had found it online.  After that, I began to change the image to suit my purpose.  Check it out:

The sixpence:

Nursery Rhyme Art Project: Sixpence (Pattern and Branch)


I did a little bit of research on the sixpence, but really wanted my own take on it, so I tried to limit my information (I can tend to go overboard in the information department, so this was important.).

The rye:

Nursery Rhyme Art Project:  Rye (Pattern and Branch)

I came up with my idea for this image fairly quickly, so there aren’t many initial drawings.  If you look in the bottom right corner, you can see what I decided on.

The blackbirds and the pie:

Nursery Rhyme Art Project:  Blackbirds (Pattern and Branch)

In my limited research on this nursery rhyme, I found out that there were cookbooks around the time this nursery rhyme originated that explained how to make a bird pie and keep the birds alive so they would fly out when the pie was opened as a surprise for the guest!  I also read that there are versions of this nursery rhyme where it isn’t birds baked in the pie, but naughty boys.  Seemed good to stick with birds.


The crown:

Nursery Rhyme Art Project: The King (Pattern and Branch)

I don’t have a lot of confidence in drawing people.  One of my college portraits of my husband, then my boyfriend, made him look like he was from the movie “Planet of the Apes”.  (That should probably be a Craft Fail…).  Instead of drawing a king (or another character from “Planet of the Apes”) I decided to use a crown to symbolize the king in the nursery rhyme.  I had more trouble with this section than you might expect, but I finally settled on a good option, as you’ll see in future posts.

I hope you liked this little peek.  Next week I’ll show you how I put all these together to get my full-size rough draft.



About Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch)

I love sewing and taking pictures! Pattern and Branch is my sewing blog with periodic photography posts (and occasional other side wanderings). It's a journal of my creative practice that I hope will add to the wider community and serve as a personal record to help me remember the details of my projects (because sometimes I need help with that). Welcome to this space! Join in the conversation!

2 responses »

  1. Planet of the Apes…you make me laugh! I’m sure it wasn’t that bad. Nevertheless, I think you have some really neat ideas.
    Boy, when you start to dissect some of those old nursery rhymes; you wonder, what were people thinking, telling little children these often rather gross stories? Different times, different sensibilities, I guess.


Comments? Leave them here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.