Behind the art of Mary Wrightly, So Politely

Have you met Mary Wrightly yet? You won’t be sorry that you did!  Shelf Awareness gave it a starred review and said:

Author Shirin Yim Bridges (Ruby’s Wish) and artist Maria Monescillo (Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime) introduce a winning heroine who’s very polite–until she needs to stand up for herself and be heard…Indeed, when the moment arises, Mary finds her voice and gets what she needs. This gently paced tale shows children there’s room for both courtesy and confidence.

Meet Mary here, and find out how illustrator Maria Monescillo brought Mary to life below.

Sketches by Illustrator Maria Monescillo


First, I draw different options for the main character.


My publisher and I opted for Girl 1. I created a sample in a digital style.


I also created a sample in pastel. We thought the pastel would be better for this story.


With the style defined, I started on the sketches. Simple shadows and light helped to define the shapes.



I painted the final artwork on large cardboard. To transfer the sketches onto the cardboard, I extended the sketch by projecting the image on the image on the wall.


Finally, I did a lot of digital retouching of details.


Mary Wrightly is the best-behaved little girl around. Please share Mary Wrightly, So Politely with a young reader today!