It's back to school time!

While doing the research about the history of Mary Had A Little Lamb,  I came across the image of the Redstone School which is believed to be the actual school referenced in the rhyme.  I knew the scene was going to be taking place out in front of a school, so that immediately inspired some of the architectural elements of my version - mainly in the white wood trim detailing. 

Redstone School (1798) in Sudbury, Massachusetts, is believed to be the schoolhouse mentioned in the nursery rhyme.  Photo credit: Wikipedia

Redstone School (1798) in Sudbury, Massachusetts, is believed to be the schoolhouse mentioned in the nursery rhyme.  Photo credit: Wikipedia

But I also had my own memories of having been to the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature center in nearby Palos Hills, IL.  So I pulled in some of the details of this school buildings design as well.  Things like the bell tower and the transom window above the front door. 

Little Red Schoolhouse (1886) in Palos Hills, IL.  Photo credit: David Wilson

Little Red Schoolhouse (1886) in Palos Hills, IL.  Photo credit: David Wilson

In the reference images above, you can see that both schools featured a centered door on the front of the building.  But for my composition I wanted to have a nice big picture window to allow me to show a number of kids looking out and laughing at the lamb which is a key part of the rhyme as well.  So I made some of my own adjustments to the classic architecture in order to make it work for this scene.

The Result

I think the final result reads so easily as a charming old red schoolhouse and I enjoy knowing that it pays tribute to the original building as well as one I have personally experienced here in the greater Chicago-land area.

Completed illustration of Mary Had A Little Lamb featuring the red school house inspired by the original school and one from my own childhood.

Completed illustration of Mary Had A Little Lamb featuring the red school house inspired by the original school and one from my own childhood.