Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Elfin Hill

The Elfin Hill is loaded with fun imagery, and may result in more drawings than the one I'm posting today. This is actually drawn from the very first line of the story. It stuck in my head right from the get-go back when I read it some weeks ago, and was what I remembered when I finally put pencil to paper last night.

"A FEW large lizards were running nimbly about in the clefts of an old tree; they could understand one another very well, for they spoke the lizard language."

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Yesterday being Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, I decided to finally tackle Grandmother (ha) which my aversion to drawing humans caused me to avoid.

I don't have much of a comment on the story itself, but some notes on the drawing:

I think it came out a lot spookier than I'd intended. The feeling of the story is endearing, rather than ghoulish, but I think my corpse is more creepy than not. (Especially since I chose to ignore the part of the text that describes dead Grandmother as no longer appearing wrinkled and old.)
Furthermore, I really wanted to show the corpse, coffin, prayer book, and rose all at once. The device I settled on for achieving this is actually inspired by similar effects that I've seen in video games (the secret is *here* - go get it!). Not sure how successful I was with that, but there you have it. Happy belated birthday, HCA.

The hymn-book, in which the rose still lay, was placed under her head, for so she had wished it; and then they buried grandmother.

Graphite on moleskine.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Bell

After all my grousing about the juxtaposition of Christian themes with Pagan(ish) folklore, The Bell - refreshingly - hails nature itself as sublime.

Go figure why I drew what I did.
I freakin hate monkeys.

Ugly monkeys sat high in the branches and clenched their teeth.
Watercolor on watercolor paper.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Darning Needle OR The Remarkable Rocket

Today, I'm cheating a little bit.

On the same day that I read The Darning Needle, I'd just happened to have re-read Oscar Wilde's The Remarkable Rocket (or rather, listened to Stephen Fry's delicious reading of it). I found it rather remarkable indeed how similar the two stories were. And, seeing how The Darning Needle was remarkably short (and devoid of any scenes that particularly inspired me) I've done a little watercolor sketch from The Remarkable Rocket instead. It had a frog in it; how could I resist?

"... I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments."

Watercolor on paper.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Mother Elderberry

Mother Elderberry is a charming little tale about Memory. The author's mention of a string of children, the youngest of which is named Hans Christian, set me wondering whether this was a reference to his own life. Alas, some little research revealed that Mr. Andersen was an only child who, I believe, died without ever fathering any children of his own. I suppose I'm always stretching to find a little something to say about these stories, but sometimes there is nothing to do but to give you the drawing.

"There it is! Be careful. It is in the teapot."

Graphite on Moleskine.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Snow Queen: Finale

Seventh Story:
Of the Palace of the Snow Queen and What Happened There At Last
And so, after a year's time, my seventh and final illustration for Andersen's Snow Queen makes an appearance.
And in rather tiny proportions, at that!
Furthermore, for the first time in quite a while, I have some commentary about the story itself which I should like to insert just here:
What presents itself as an upright, Christian cautionary tale against the evils of reason (Reason being the vast mirror of the Snow Queen, a particle of which has become lodged in little Kay's eyeball, making him behave rather badly), proceeds to have the children fortified for their journey home by the means of most unholy acts of communion with a reindeer.

"He had brought another young reindeer with him and her udder was bursting with milk. The two children drank from it and the reindeer kissed them."
...and he had brought another young reindeer with him, whose udders were full, and the children drank her warm milk and kissed her on the mouth.

Of course, it is just a fairy story, after all. Snow Queens, ice monsters, and witches (having appeared in previous chapters) have no more place in a Christian parable than a small boy suckling at the engorged teat of a young reindeer. But then, what place do your values have in such a story either, Mr. Andersen?
Ah well. 'Til next time, kids; when I shall resume with Mother Elderberry.

* By the by, this little drawing was meant to be a rough sketch, but I took a liking to it and couldn't be buggered to do it over, so it measures <2" across.