Friday, February 5, 2016

Some fairy sketches

Today I spent some time sketching the very good fairy Willamina, the subject of one of the three children picture book manuscripts I'm working on right now (along with a carved crucifix and a few other drawings.)  I really like working on lots of things at once. It feels very free and fun and I think it helps me approach each project with a fresh eye.

Willamina is a rather earnest and entirely well-meaning but somewhat codependent fairy. This first picture of her face is, I think, exactly how I want her to look. The trick is making a consistent face and body in a number of poses. My impulse is to sketch till I get the face I want, then clamp down and try to get the face right in other poses by drawing very carefully and tensely. That, predictably, does not work well. I'm going to try, instead, to make her face second nature by sketching her a lot. We'll see how that works.

Poor Willamina is feeling both sad and stubborn here, and tears are flying all over. She is wearing striped stockings and buttoned boots. About a hundred and fifty years ago she helped a shoemaker out of a bind and he showed his appreciation by making her a pair of tiny boots. Willamina doesn't walk or dance much and she is frugal and sentimental, so she still wears the same, very well made little boots. (That's bonus information not in the manuscript.)  

Putting on her boots.

The next one has almost the right face, but not quite. Why are her boots so pointy?

Still not the right face for her, but I like it as a face for someone else.

 This one is definitely more babyish than I want her to look, but I think its kind of cute.


  1. Good luck with this. It looks like you have a great start!

  2. I do love your art. Willamina has a complicated personality to which children can relate as well us older children. It is nice also that she is not a raving beauty to which the majority of us can relate. I think her story is worth telling.

  3. Yea, I am really taken with the idea of a fairy who has a pleasant face but is not perfect perfect pretty. I also want her to be a bit disheveled at times. She is basically a neat person (not messyish like me) but she's not that into appearance. Sometimes she just gets busy and doesn't think how she looks. I am dying to get on with this project, but I'm working on a carving project that has to take all my attention till its finished (hopefully tomorrow!)