For the entire month of November I am drawing a fairy a day and posting it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #MonthOfFairies
(Incidentally, it lined up with the Art Every Day Month project, so I’m participating in it as well!)
Here’s an overview of all the artwork I created in the past week (plus the first 2 days which were in previous week).
I already told the story of how this painting came to be in the first post. I used my active imagination process to get inspiration for the first painting, and the image that appeared was that of a Fairy Queen.
This painting is made in watercolor on 23x30cm watercolor paper, in one of my fancy mixed media sketchbooks.
The second day I used the visioning exercise again, and I saw a dark figure with large antlers. There was not much detail in the vision itself, but I took artistic liberties and shrouded my fairy in long, dark hair.
Pen & ink in my “regular” Canson sketchbook.
On the third day, I dove right into sketching, because I had an idea already in my mind of what I wanted to draw. I realized I haven’t used ballpoint pen in a really, really long time (ballpoint pen was one of my favorite techniques a few years ago).
I spread a light Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber wash over the page of my small square Travelogue Handbook Journal, sketched in pencil first, and then in ballpoint pen. I then colored it with Derwent Coloursoft color pencils.
(Note: the previous paragraph contains Amazon affiliate links.)
This one seems to be the most popular with my followers!
I had a meeting in the morning and doodled the idea I had in my sketchbook with a pen, and decided to do this one in watercolor with minimal line work and no shading.
Then later I went on a website about Croatian myths and legends and searched for stories about fairies. I found a few I haven’t heard before, and one drew my attention because it featured a picture of a fairy flying above water in the night. (People who understand Croatian can read it here.)
The story is about a water fairy who was given a golden ring of promise by her human lover, but later he comes to her to ask the ring back, because he’s marrying another woman on St Katherine’s day.
She didn’t want to give it back, but he threatened to pour holy water over her so she threw it back and disappeared, saying “See you on St Katherine’s”.
On their wedding day the bride was happy, but the guy was looking around nervously all the time. When they passed by the river where he last met the fairy, the Earth cracked open, the newlyweds fell into the chasm and river poured over them. After a few days they found the bride’s body down the river.
Lesson: don’t mess with fairies.
Fairies, elves, nymphs, what’s the difference? From what I understand, mostly geography and language. Nymphs are from Greece, fairies are derived from the French word and were popularized in Britain, and elves come from the Nordic mythology and languages.
Over time, the differences were blurred. While nymphs primarily have a human-looking form, fairies and elves may or may not have. They can be human-sized or miniature, with wings or other animal features or without them, they can be clothed or naked, cute or grotesque… In this drawing I tried to portray a miniature winged fairy that looks less human, but I was still stuck within the confines of how I usually draw them. I’ll try again.
I felt a little sad that day, so my fairy sketches took a darker turn. This was actually one of the more benign ones. I don’t know if I’m going to use the other ones.
Ballpoint pen & watercolor.
“Dryad awakening”, ballpoint pen & watercolor.
In some of the legends, fairies spend the winter inside plants — in the trees, roots and bulbs. In the spring they awaken from their slumber. Flower fairies emerge from the buds, but it’s not explicitly said how tree fairies do it. This is how I see it.
“Birth of a flower fairy”, ballpoint pen & watercolor, edited in Photoshop.
I recently read in a book by Zdenko Bašić (“Tales of the Wind”, or “Sjeverozapadni vjetar” for my Croatian readers) about a legend that flower fairies were born from flower buds in the spring. Evil witches would destroy the fairies by cutting the flowers, and they would sell them in the market.
This drawing is probably my least favorite so far – I tried to fix it in Photoshop since the contrast of the original sketch was bad.
The working title is “Tree fairy gestation”, although I might change it before uploading it to my illustration portfolio (I also plan to continue working on it).
I’ve had an idea for this painting for quite a while, so I decided to paint it as a part of this project. The original sketch of this concept was in my 2013 sketchbook (on the 8:22 mark in the video).
So that was it for week 1!
See other posts in this series:
- A Month Of Fairies (introduction)
- Month Of Fairies: Week 2
- Month Of Fairies: Week 3
- Month Of Fairies: Week 4
About Nela Dunato
Artist, brand designer, teacher, and writer. Author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”. Owner of a boutique branding & design consultancy that helps experienced service-based businesses impress their dream clients.
On this blog I write about art, design, creativity, business, productivity and marketing, and share my creative process and tips. Read more about me...
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