Sneak Peek: Maybe Something Beautiful

In this exuberant picture book about transformation through art, Mira lives in a gray urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and hope to the neighborhood. Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!

Available wherever books are sold on April 12, 2016!

Read on to see some early sketches from the book, and for some background information from the award-winning illustrator, Rafael López.


Original buildings 1

Original Buildings 1: I wanted to capture the essence of the East Village where we started painting our fist mural in Down Town San Diego



Original Building 2

I took my camera and walked around photographing and capturing the actual buildings from the neighborhood. I wanted somehow to incorporate them into the book. As you can see on the right I had to correct the perspective to straighten them to fit what I had in mind.


Building with texture

Once the buildings were straightened I added my own textures I created with different techniques, using acrylic and watercolor.


Building with new shape

I created a collection of new “fictitious” buildings for the story but based on the actual buildings. I cut pieces of construction paper and then incorporated the textures into them.

Original sketch

I then proceeded to create a pencil sketch to see where thing will fit. This is an important stage where you can play with size, proportion and editing.

Original painting

One last stage is to paint your characters in this case Mira which I did traditionally with acrylic on wood board.


Final Illustration

Then it’s all about putting all the elements together digitally and fine tuning the final composition. I had a great time experimenting with a new technique. It was very important to keep having fun! Enjoy!