Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Madonna and Child attempt

Instead of Illustration Friday, I decided to do a Madonna and Child last week. My Mary unfortunately turned out more like a sweet big sister than a young mother.  I want to make something more or less print-worthy, so I'm going to draw another one next week with a similar design and concept but a more grownup looking Mary. I usually like to make Mary look Jewish, but I thought that she needed light hair to stand out against the dark sky. Since her hair is mostly surrounded by a halo, and the sky is not as dark as I originally intended, I don't know if that was necessary. Maybe I'll give her dark hair next time.  Or maybe I'll make the sky darker. We shall see.

 The drawing was inspired by the last stanza of "A Christmas Carol" by G.K. Chesterton, and had I been happy with the Mary, I would have put some lines from it in the blank ribbons. Here's the whole poem:

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap, 
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
 But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary's knee,
His hair was like a Crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down. 


  1. Mary was only about 13 anyway, so maybe your drawing isn't really too young? This has a lovely feeling to it.

    1. Thank you! I've also heard that she was thirteen, but to me she looks eleven here. I'm going to try for fifteen next time around. :)

  2. I agree. Was going to say that your drawing may be more realistic than many. It is quite beautiful. The little boy is adorable.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked the baby. His face is not refined or ethereal as baby Jesus is often portrayed, and I think he has the mistrustful, slightly crabby look older babies give to strangers. Which makes sense to me, but I wasn't sure how it would come across to other people.

  3. Yep. Who you lookin at. . . But actually I like that you are looking at me. I think Jesus was a real person and felt the things we all feel. If not how could he relate to us so well. I like his curly head :-) in your drawing. I did not know Mary was so young. What a lot of responsibility she had. That young they were in some ways like sister and brother.

  4. I actually wonder about that "Mary was thirteen" theory. I'm guessing that people generally married not too long after puberty, but nowadays puberty is happening earlier and earlier purportedly due to the estrogenic effect of all the petroleum products in our environments. I read somewhere that the average onset in the 1800s was 15 years old, so I wonder. That's still young by today's standards, but as a not very young mother myself, I think there's something to be said for bringing the energy of youth to parenthood.:)