I’ve been itching to do a personal art project that will enable me to work on my technique and style, but I have a difficult time committing to a single project for a prolonged period of time.
In the past few months there were many Twitter & Instagram challenges like #DrawingAugust, #inktober and similar (October was particularly busy).
I sometimes participate in these challenges, but this year I had so many pressing obligations, I felt it was not self-loving to commit to yet another obligation.
I may have missed out on all the group fun, but it doesn’t mean I can’t make my own!
I was in part inspired by Nicole Piar’s project “Month of Cats” that she’s been working on this October. Her kitties are gorgeous, and I just adore her watercolor technique.
I’ve had a few different ideas for what my project could be. At first I wanted just general watercolor + ink doodling, so I could work on my blog illustrations, refine my sketching style, and hopefully create a base of drawings that I will be able to use for months to come.
Another idea was a month of lettering (I still might get back to that one).
Then the idea came.
A Month Of Fairies
My love for nature and magic is combined in this elemental creature — a protector of nature and personification of natural forces.
Today’s most common portrayal of fairies is one of Disney cartoons — a beautiful young (and good!) girl with butterfly wings, but in old folk tales and legends it wasn’t always so.
I want to explore different kinds of fairies, and perhaps discover something new along the way.
So, #MonthOfFairies begins as of today!
Here’s today’s drawing:
When I sat down, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to draw. All I knew was that I didn’t want to just default to a naked woman with wings.
Then I did what I often do when I need to work on a particular theme, but don’t know where to start: the active imagination process.
(For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a process popularized by Carl Gustav Jung, you can look it up online. It’s basically daydreaming with a specific purpose. I might write a post about that in the future.)
I was sitting with my eyes closed imagining some fairies, but none of them looked “right”. I didn’t like any of them. One was stiff, like a plastic doll and very tacky. The other one had a weird tall hat on her head and didn’t look very pretty, and so on. I felt I wasn’t going anywhere, so I just asked “Is there a particular fairy that would like to meet me and let me draw her?”
And then she showed up. She was so tall, towering over me like a tree. I was surprised — aren’t fairies supposed to be, like, miniature? Well, this one wasn’t, or at least she decided to appear this way to me.
I asked who she was, and she told me she was the Fairy Queen.
I did not expect that.
I wanted to see a form that I could portray, and next thing she was a normal-sized woman dressed in regal attire. She too had a tall headpiece that I thought was rather silly, and why do fairies need clothes to show off their status anyway, aren’t they creatures of nature? I figured she probably has a dozen other forms she can choose from, and this is just one that she decided to show to me.
So the very first day I had to draw the Queen. There went my plan to keep it loose and quick!
I wanted to at least try my best to draw her the way I saw her in my mind, so I spent the entire afternoon and evening trying to finish this watercolor painting, and it took way more time than I planned.
So that was Day 1.
Follow the Month of Fairies
If you don’t use either, don’t worry — I’ll post a recap of the entire week here on the blog on Sundays.
- Month Of Fairies: Week 1
- Month Of Fairies: Week 2
- Month Of Fairies: Week 3
- Month Of Fairies: Week 4 & video sketchbook flip
Wish me luck!
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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