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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 index) 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 miay 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.)

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Ten – The Great Sea Serpent

For Day Ten of my April Sketch Challenge I drew the Great Sea SerpentFor today’s Sketch we’re back to Hans Christian Andersen with The Great Sea Serpent, one so obscure I hadn’t even heard of it until I started working on my list and I completely missed the point of the story the first time I read it.

Once I did get the point I really liked the concept of all the animals of the sea being unable to comprehend the alien (human) technology, and turn it into something it is not. (it just occurred to me that for someone as spiritual as Andersen usually is in his stories, this could ironically be considered an Atheist parable)

Still I really enjoyed doing this one with the only challenge was to keep the seaweed and algae from looking like fire in this medium.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Nine – The Clever Servant

For Day Nine of my Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge I drew the Clever ServantI seem to be making up for pulling top ten stories like Snow White and Hansel and Gretel on the first week with stories stories so obscure I had to reread them before starting the sketch. Today’s story, The Clever Servant is a several of the Foolish Servant stories within the Grimm Brothers’ collection. (All of them come off as long form variations of the “My blank is so dumb” jokes) Most of the time they’re not quite as fun to do because they all seem to bail down into a single absurdist scene that don’t translate into a single static image as well as you’d think.

I think I centered the servant a little too much on this one in the process not giving the master and the cow as much room as they needed.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Eight – The Juniper Tree

For Day Eight of My Fairy Tale Challenge I drew The Juniper Tree!"For day eight of my sketch Challenge the magic upper ware told me to draw one of the darker tales from the Brothers Grimm, The Juniper Tree! You usually don’t see the Juniper tree in anything but the unabridged editions. In fact I remember not reading it well into high school in Maurice Sendak’s collection, The Juniper Tree and Other Tales From Grimm. (The main thing I remember about it (besides all of the murder) is it’s the only one I know that has a good stepsister.

The problem of knowing it from a Maurice Sendak is thinking of an image that is nothing like one the master came up with.

Since most of the illustrations I know show a picture of the tree with the bird coming out of it. I decided to go with the bird’s perspective.

Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge – Hansel and Gretel

Day Seven of my April Sketch Challenge is Hansel and GretelI seem to be drawing a whole lot of the popular fairy tales early in this challenge and today’s, Hansel & Gretel, is no exception.

I had the usual problem of choosing which scene to use but ending up going with what I consider the signature part of the story, the candy cake house… Of course with the line art and the scale I’m not sure just how clear it is that it’s made candy, but what can you do?

For the most part I think I’m cribbing W. Eugene Smith‘s “The Walk to Paradise Garden” on this one.

Fairy Tale Challenge Day Six – Frau Holle

For Day Six of My April Fairytale Sketch Challenge I drew Frau Holle
For today’s sketch we come to one of my old time favorite’s Frau Holle. I’ve always enjoyed the concept of Frau Holle, (loosely translated as Old Mother Frost) a sort of winter elemental spirit and a diminution of the pagan goddess, Holda.

It was hard to choose what to go with on this one. While obviously for me it’s all about Frau Holle, in the context of the story she’s almost a footnote, functioning as a kind of benevolent ogress. You almost get the feeling that there were several other stories about her floating around that the Grimms didn’t record but assumed that there readers would just take who Frau Holle was for granted, just as a modern children’s story wouldn’t need to explain Santa Claus or the Sandman.

Nevertheless, since I couldn’t think of good ways to show other parts of the story (such as the heroine shedding gold) I went with an image featuring the good Grandmother.

Fairy Tale Challenge Day Five – The Princess and The Pea

For Day Five of my April Sketch Challenge, The Princess and the Pea
For day five of the sketch challenge we go back to Mr. Andersen with the Princess and The Pea. This one was really easy frankly the only creative struggle you get when pulling this title from the magic Tupperware is choosing what angle you’re going to use for the ridiculously high stack of mattresses.

To be honest  though, I don’t think that the Princess and the Pea is one of those stories that survives childhood very well. It’s just too silly. These day’s if I think about it at all it’s from Carol Burnett in Once Upon a Mattress.