Today’s fairy tale Hans Christian Andersen’s Steadfast Tin Soldier, (it’s usually called the Brave Tin Soldier but frankly I like steadfast better) was another one that I really didn’t want to do. Regrettably, that’s the whole point of this exercise. I need a better excuse than “I don’t like this story” isn’t a good enough excuse. It has to be something like “I can’t find an English-language version of this”, as in getting The Grimm Brothers’ the Raven yesterday, or when I was doing my Nursery Rhyme challenge last year, “This is a saying about predicting whether from the colors of the sky. There’s nothing I can do with it in this monochrome medium”. So, Yeah… I had to draw The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
Because I didn’t like the story, I never did more than scan the original and only knew the cliff notes version of it. In fact, most of what I knew about it came from the Fantasia version of it (which I also considered one of the weakest of the entire collection.) So I admit I didn’t know the fine points. For example, for some reason, I had it in my head that the climactic scene of the story, which I’m using for this sketch, was a house fire. After quickly reading it I found it was some kids throwing the toys in the stove.
Finally, this was a strain to my 40ish aesthetic. Most of the toy soldiers boys would be playing with at the time would still look like soldiers from the Napoleonic war. So this scene would be deliberately anachronistic. Even more frustrating when I did a quick Pinterest search for pictures of toy soldiers, all I got were detailed models soldiers from world war one and two made by and for history buffs and wargamers, and illustrations of this story. (and I couldn’t look at those because that would be cheating.)
All in all, I guess it came out okay… I think I botched the ballerina. Though I can use the excuse that she’s a paper doll and I can claim she was badly drawn.