Archive for April, 2017

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Twenty – The Traveling Companion

For Day 20 of my April Fairy Tale sketch Challenge I drew the Traveling CompanionTwo-thirds into this and I’m back with Hans Christian Andersen with one of the best examples of the grateful dead motif (no, not that Grateful dead) The Traveling Companion.

The Traveling Companion is one of my favorite Andersen stories but it’s also one of the more frustrating ones since once again there’s not much about it that really stands out. Sure, there’s some really cool scene’s in it, my favorite being the one where he chases the witch in flight using borrowed wings, but there really any images that I could show you and you would say, “Hey. That’s from the Traveling Companion, isn’t it?”

So pretty much that leaves me with our hero, John, meeting the traveling companion. Not much about it to write home about, but it brings the general theme across. I think it’s important to capture the look of the companion. I always see him as tall and dignified, sort of a cross between Max Von Sydow and Ian McKellen.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Nineteen – The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear

For Day 19 of my April Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I drew The Story of a Boy Who Who Went Forth to Learn FearWhen I first pulled today’s story out of the magic Tupperware I was almost tempted to cheat and pick another one. It’s not that I don’t like the story, no, The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear is one of the Grimm Brothers’ fun ones with a whole lot of fun stuff going on… And there’s the problem. There’s a LOT of stuff, so much that not one image really says the story to us when we look at it.

I ended up taking serious liberties and going with a general scene that I thought presented the general idea of the story. Fool goes to a haunted house to learn how to be scared, but because he doesn’t know how he is oblivious to all of the scary stuff around him… or he’s aware but doesn’t know they’re scary.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Eighteen – The Robber Bridegroom

For Day Eighteen of My April Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I Drew The Robber BridegroomWell, it looks like I’m hitting the deep end of the pool of the truly macabre, with The Grimms’ version of the Bluebeard story, The Robber Bridegroom. It’s easy to choose the scene in the story that tells us everything we need to know about the story. Unfortunately, that scene is essentially torture porn. I tried to have it as off camera as much as possible, and focus on the heroine’s reaction.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Seventeen – Godfather Death

For Day Seventeen of my April Fairy Tale Challenge I drew Godfather DeathWell, I drew another fun one with Godfather Death. I always find it a bit of a catch twenty-two on just how to do a lot of these illustrations, especially when it involves stock characters like Death. At one level there’s no reason to do him as the skeleton with the scythe. After all, in the story, all we’re given as a description are withered legs and cold hands. I could at least give him flesh like in Seventh Seal or do something completely different like Neil Gaiman’s goth cutie… And if I were working on a longer project I’d be more than happy to. But for something quick like this you need to do broad strokes that appeal to the viewer’s cultural vocabulary… so walking skeleton it is (scythe optional) I went with something a little more affluent with a dark coat with a fur lining rather than the usual which I am positive were originally monk’s robes.

As for the rest of picture the lighting was the trickiest bit. At first, I figured I’d do a couple of candles in the dark cave and braced myself for a lot of crosshatching… then I realized just how many candles that would be. I may have botched the shadowing on the figures. I’m mostly happy with this though I still think it’s a little too close to Maurice Sendak’s version. In hindsight, I think having the candles in the foreground might have looked better.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Sixteen – The Fisherman and His Wife

For Day Sixteen of My April Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I Drew The Fisherman and His Wife.So today when I shook the tupperware before picking a name this one fell out… Literally. So obviously that meant I had to draw this one. The Fisherman and His Wife, one of the classic examples of be careful what you wish for, is another one where it’s hard to choose the image. I ended up with going with a collage of the Fisherman making his wish and the final result when his wife wants too much.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge – The Wolf and The Seven Young Kids

For Day Fifteen of My Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I drew The Wolf and The Seven Young Kids" Today’s sketch, The Wolf and The Seven Young Kids, is one of the stories that is somewhere in the middle of the of obscurity list. It’s usually in most of the collections, I know I read it while growing up, but it’s usually supplanted by the similar story of the three little pigs.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Fourteen – The Tinderbox

For Day Fourteen of My April Sketch Challenge I drew the Tinderbox!For day fourteen of this challenge, we’re back to Hans Christian Andersen with one of my personal  favorites, The Tinderbox!

I really didn’t go for any particular scene from the story… Just did something that caught the main point  of the story  which is the soldier using his magic tinderbox to summon his three magical big-eyed dogs (I kind of think I sort of ended up channeling Gahan Wilson when doing the dogs.)

While I was doing the drawing it occurred to me that The Tinderbox is the original Pokemon story.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Thirteen – Little Red Riding Hood

For day Thirteen of My April Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I Drew Little Red Riding Hood.Well after nearly a week of drawing obscure, to completely unknown, stories the magic Tupperware finally gave me a live one with Little Red Riding hood.

I have to confess this is one I have mixed feelings about this one. As an unrepentant treehugger I can be pretty knee jerk about it being one of the stories indirectly responsible for the near extinction of the gray wolf. On another note while I’ll be happily part of the chorus saying there are no reported attacks by wolves in history, I’ll also wonder why the wolf would go into all of the trouble of the Grandmother disguise when he was alone in the woods with a little girl where there could be another unreported attack. On top of this there’s so many takes on  this that have already been done from all the jokes about the wolf having a crossdressing fetish to all of the hypersexualzation of the story with Red Riding Hood in bed with the wolf.

All in all I’m not sure if I’m happy with this one… sure it looks fine but I don’t think this is an original choice and I could probably point out about four separate illustrations I’m cribbing… Also I think I screwed up Red’s feet.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Twelve -The Twelve Brothers

For Day Twelve of My April Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I Drew Twelve BrothersFor day twelve of this challenge the magic tupperware told me to draw the Twelve Brothers. Brothers turning into birds (type number 451 in the Arne-Thompson indexThis is a fairly common trope, Grimm alone has three examples. When picking which to put in the hat I chose the one with the brothers turning into Ravens rather than swans…Ravens are cool.

I’m mostly happy with this one, though I probably rushed the crowd a bit and the two brothers in the foreground may look a little bit like a stop motion effect of the transformation.


Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Eleven – The Duration of Life

For Day Eleven of my Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I Drew The Duration of LifeThe Duration of Life will probably be the most obscure fairy tale I get this month (this is what we call wishfull thinking) On top of that there really much going on. With nothing much more than a couple of animals standing in line, to petition god.

In hindsight I regret not thinking of doing this as a celestial DMV with all of the animals taking a number. (It probably wouldn’t have fit in the constraints of the format.)