anonyrrie: Illustration Friday - Float

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Illustration Friday - Float


This week's topic brought to mind two literary characters who, in their attempts to escape unbearable situations, took to the water. Poor Ophelia, driven mad by Hamlet's callous injunction, "get thee to a nunnery," chose instead to drown herself. She is often depicted floating dead in a shallow pond, her bouquet of symbolic flowers strewn about her. Because she has been painted by so many wonderful artists, I decided to let her rest in peace.

The other character is Thumbelina, from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. She escaped marriage to a boorish frog with the help of some fishes who gnawed through the stem of the lily pad where she was being held prisoner until the wedding. As she floated downstream away from her hideous fiance, Thumbelina was joined by a butterfly who offered to pull her along with the help of her sash. Unlike Ophelia, Thumbelina's water journey eventually led her to her prince.

63 Comments:

Blogger The Whippy Curly Tails said...

I loved Thumbelina!

Your butterfly is so wonderful. I clicked on the image and could see the details...such a nice drawing!

3:31 PM  
Blogger isay said...

i agree that the butterfly is beautiful and as always the hair is fabulous but i like most the lily.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I always love references to literature. Great illustration. I especially like the color of the water against the color of the greenery surrounding it.

4:20 PM  
Blogger raim said...

Beautiful like always.
I love de "doodle bird" too.
:O)

4:58 PM  
Blogger JacqueLynn said...

I didn't know that about the Thumbelina story, I guess I had better find a copy and read it. A wonderful take on the theme, very delicate.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Afterthoughts Ltd. said...

Great job Carla, like the literary references.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Angelique said...

This piece is quite different from your other art on this page, quite delicate in its linework, and I love the color combination. I also like the detailed butterfly wings very much, and the fact that she's holding it as if its some kind of pet kite. I won't pretend not to think that the girl in this image is quite lovely to look at, she is (I just read your negative response when others, like myself, commented on the beauty of one of the sisters in "Fresh" - sorry to have seemed so superficial, to you!) For what it's worth, nice illustration and as always, great literary reference.

5:53 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Angelique...I'm sorry if you thought my response about the prettiness in my fresh illo was negative! I certainly didn't mean it like that at all. What I was trying to convey is that many of us associate pretty with nice and not pretty with not nice, and I was just going after the idea that a person can be lovely to look at but ugly inside! And yes...I agree that red hair on the mean sister is very pretty! I had fun doing a head of glorious red hair:> Thanks so much for your comments; I truly appreciate them.

6:00 PM  
Blogger angeillo said...

I like Thumbelina too. This is a beautiful illo. I like the colors, the intricate details on the butterfly, as well as the overall texture. Nice job!

6:21 PM  
Blogger kikazinha said...

Hi Carla this ilustration is really lovely.One of the best ones I've seen here in your blog...I love Ophelia and all the paintings done by simbolists,it is always such a nice imagery(though sad),Ophelia floatting among water-lilies...
Thanks for your nice comments, I actually have only one entry what happens is that I always have a lot of illustrations because it is my profession and for this theme those could both fit.It was funny;-)

7:39 PM  
Anonymous paul said...

I always like your literary references that go along with your pics. As usual great style - very nice to look at.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

First,I'd like to say thank you for all your comments you've left on my blog. It's very encouraging to see you name and picture week after week. Second, your piece this week is wonderful. I have never gotten the nack for warter colors and your work is some of the best I've seen. Excellent!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

I would also drown myself if someone said "get thee to a nunnery." I'm glad you chose Thumbbelina for your 'float' image! It reminds me of cut and pasting when a child from old stencil sheets from the early 1900s. I like the grass the most, but you have also captured the float feeling in your images's full context :)

8:45 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Anon, I have a feeling you'd put Prince Hamlet properly in his place if he ever dared to say something like that to you :> he was most definitely not being nice...trifling with that fragile young woman in his self-absorbed way. Thanks for your comments...I did want Thumbelina and her butterfly friend to have a 19th century look. I would have actually done more of the same with the background but I just didn't have the time, but it's good that it seemes to have worked out.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Virginia Valle said...

Ohh you this is very beautiful!!! yes the illo have a 19th century look,I admire your delicate on your image :}

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Marion said...

Really nice.

9:12 PM  
Blogger kg said...

love it - to me, it has a mixed media / collage feel to it. and i love the rich colors.

the only issue i have with your blog is that it makes me feel guilty that i read so little these days... ;-)

9:31 PM  
Blogger kg said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:31 PM  
Blogger monicalee said...

This is just lovely, serene. I have always had a love for Hans Christian Anderson, although if he were trying to be published today he would be so non p.c.! Prisioner until the wedding...yikes! You' re work is very nice!

9:34 PM  
Blogger carla said...

kg...don't feel guilty! I rarely have time to read any new literature because I am almost always buried under piles of student papers I must read and grade. It doesn't leave me much time to actually pick up a novel and read more than a few pages before I fall asleep! I've been inching my way through The Virgin Suicides for about a month. Sad! Most of my references come from literature I've read before and taught...

9:39 PM  
Blogger AG said...

i never liked thumbalina much, but that's a really beautiful illustration! very delicate.

nice!

10:06 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I'll admit that I come here more for the Classics lessons and stories than anything else, but the illustrations keep me here! This one reminds me of Loreena McKennitt's musical version of "The Lady of Shalott" for some reason.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

This is a very lovely intrepertation of the theme!! Very poetic!!

2:21 AM  
Blogger vfm4 said...

again a lovely combination of story and drawing!

8:10 AM  
Blogger Pajara Pinta said...

thumbelina is one of my favourites... I specially like the version of Lisbeth Zwerger of the story, it's amazing!
you made me remember her...

Thanks!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Tony Sarrecchia said...

Lesson in lit and great illos, what more could one ask for on a Sunday morning?

12:00 PM  
Blogger Mercedes said...

oh, that's great carla! I love this part of thumbeline! And your illo is so sweet!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Catnapping said...

i liked your explanation as much as the illustration. The butterfly is beautiful in detail, as is the lily pad.

thank you for this.

cat

8:02 PM  
Blogger rubio2d said...

Great story, as usual, and very beautiful illustration.
Love all the textures you've got, mainly in the background.
A lot of details in the character suit and great pose!.
Very nice work.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Excellent excellent feel with great detail. Is this a piece done with mixed media?

9:15 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Wonderful drawing girl! Love the detail and your story line! Have a good week!

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Edric Hsu said...

Hey Carla, nice illo and symbolism, your technique reminds me of antique decoupagery! :)

11:00 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

i really like this one. it's a nice "collage" of styles. it looks like you incorporated an ink sketch with digital art. what did you do? by the way, i just saw your bird and borderline, both wonderful pieces too. i'm glad you share your talents with us all.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

I continue to be a great admirer of your work. Great job!

12:07 AM  
Blogger rocket said...

Somethimes I wonder how people come up with their illustrations. Now, I know. I really like how you have mixed the drawing in with the graphics background. The lily leave is really light and with the lines around it on the water, it seems to be really flowing along. How did you make everything so light, and flowy?

2:20 AM  
Blogger Niko said...

Ohhhh it's so beautiful, i love it

9:11 AM  
Blogger christina said...

This is such a whimsical drawing. I love, love, love how you connect literature with your illustrations. It's so refreshing.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

Very nice... I like the narrative as well. Shows a lot of attention to detail.

Thanks.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Sybille said...

Lovely image. What technique did you use? It almost looks like a collage. Very different and original.

Sybille

5:22 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Beautiful and touching. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your illustration.

6:05 PM  
Blogger bruno côrte said...

Thanks for visiting again my blog and your nice comment!
Wonderful, your work. Nice intrepertation.

6:26 PM  
Blogger onclejohann said...

At first glance I thought I was looking at one of Tenniel's illustrations from Alice in Wonderland. Excellent piece of work, Carla. Definitely one to crow about.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

This is just lovely, very classic.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

I love this a lot. I love the detail on the waterlily. Very serene. I wanted to let you know that I learn so much from your site. Thanks.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Hi Carla, Well I guess I am a bit late getting around to the blogs. read all the comments I also like to come to yours for the literary lessons and the awesome illustrations. Wish I had you for a teacher but opps I'm a bit older than you so I guess not possible. But hey I can learn here. ;) thanks for a great blog.

10:58 PM  
Blogger bee'nme said...

Carla, you've captured a lovely literary reference with great sensitivity and skill! This has the feel of a collage made of beautiful engravings from great old musty books brought to new life with color. It works very well and shows off your appreciation for the literature behind it. Well done!

11:19 PM  
Blogger Foxxor said...

Thumbelina was a great story that I remember from when I was a younger girl. ( like 5-8.)
This is great though. I love the moth and the lillypad and the detail on her dress and hair.

12:42 AM  
Blogger AG said...

hey carla, thanks for commenting on my blog. you write like you draw. pretty and delicate! XD i sound like a blathering idiot by comparison. haha!

4:41 AM  
Blogger Drazen said...

great interpratation and cool story for the topic. Love the textures.
I always loved the Ophelia by Millais in the Tate.THo I get those Pre Rapaelites mixed up some times. Waterhouse is my fave.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous shakespeare said...

so beautiful... :) really b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l...

11:41 AM  
Blogger Eren said...

This is beautiful! Love the reference too. Your illustrations are always so lovely!

11:45 AM  
Blogger Smook said...

I am with KG and their sentiments. If there is one thing I always regretted was not reading a lot more! For some reason, it was just one of those 'chores' when I was growing up. Still haven't mananged to now as an adult.

Very lovely illustration, Carla! And thank you also for your kind comments on my humble attempt. Very much appreciated.

Mike

9:12 PM  
Blogger Ian T. said...

This is beautiful! The figure has a sense of the Cottingsley Fairies about it (yes, I know Thumbelina's not a fairy).

I love alternating linework and really dig what you've done with the (Georgian style) dress, her hair, the butterly and the lily, and the way you've used these textured surfaces against the light areas of her face and the cut out coloured shapes - really assured!

Your other choice of Ophelia is also inspired, but how could anyone compete with Millais' portrayal of Elizabeth Siddal (lying in a tub of water to model this classic). Well, maybe Waterhouse's "Lady of Shalott" in the boat comes close...

2:19 AM  
Blogger 998fort said...

I like your use of literature! It's very striking.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice illustration. I liked reading the story behind it.
wynlen

8:11 AM  
Anonymous dennis W said...

This is beautiful. I like both of the characters you considered too.

Great execution. You are very talented.

3:04 PM  
Blogger AnnaCas said...

i am really in love with your illustration.. so sweet!
Anna

4:47 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

This belongs in a little girl's room, framed and hanging on the wall to illustrate her dreams.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Leezy said...

wonderful illustration carla. I really liked your color palette and texture in this piece. Another success for iFri!

5:03 PM  
Blogger flossy-p said...

Thumbelina was my absolute favourite, and your illo is lovely. I really like the combination of simple block water and grass, framing the fine detailed lines in the main image.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Tony LaRocca said...

What most people don't know is that Thumbelina got tired of the prince and his perverted demands after a few years, left him, and joined a nunnery. However, being of such tiny size, she had the job of washing out the little holy water cups every day. Fantastic work, as allways

7:06 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I didn't fully appreciate this illo unti i enlarged it and was immediately drawn in by its beauty and enchantment. i love your detailed line work.

11:27 PM  
Blogger R.Soler said...

Me gusta mucho esta ilustración, muy clásica, muy delicada...

3:46 PM  

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