Saturday, February 12, 2011

First Anniversary

How silly of me.  I let the one-year anniversary of my Hans Christian Andersen project go by unnoticed.  Honestly, I only just realized it myself.  I posted my first illustration for The Tinder Box on 25 January of last year.  Since then I've managed to do drawings for an astounding 17 stories (16 within the year from my launch date) - a far cry from doing all 156 of them in a year like I'd sort of hoped at first (even though I knew that was basically impossible).  Ah, well - 139 to go.  Or, to put it visually:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Bronze Pig

I read The Bronze Pig (The Metal Pig, according to older translations, which actually say that the pig was made of brass) some time ago, but have only just gotten around to doing a drawing from it on account of some turbulence in my life.  (Speaking of my life, I showed some art this past weekend at Zeitgeitst's Analog Frontiers show - it's up until the end of March, I believe.) Anyway, The Bronze Pig is sort of an art-appreciation story for children.  (Maybe I should do a fully illustrated version and pitch it to some publishing houses as such?)  The statue of a pig comes to life and escorts a street urchin around Florence, exposing him to such works of art as Michelangelo's David.  These adventures inspire the child to devote his life to art, he achieves some success, and - almost as an afterthought to the body of the story - dies.  I suppose Andersen at the last regretted not making this tale more morbid, and tacked on that last little detail: that, in death anyway, this young artist gained recognition.
It has become my custom to illustrate specific lines from these stories; the ones I found especially irresistible.  I haven't done that this time*, instead I've chosen to depict the scene in which the pig and his young charge gaze in awe upon the statue of David, who - if only in part - was a pleasure to draw.  And, what can I say?  I heart drawing piggies.

The little boy said not a word; he was half pleased and half afraid.
[Graphite. Moleskine. 5x8"]

* If I were to choose such a delicious line from this story, it may very well be this one: "it is quite a picture to see a half-naked boy clasping the well-formed creature by the head, as he presses his rosy lips against its jaws."