|Snow White & Rose Red by Chris Beatrice|
For example, in the tutorial he gives us close-ups of both girls and explains a little of his thoughts on each and how he imbued the painting, not only with aspects of their personalities but also of their parts in the story, foreshadowing what's to come.
Here's a few comments on the room and the girls in particular:
Everything in the picture has to contribute to what you're trying to do, or it will undoubtedly work against it. You need to think about it all - color, value, lighting, mood, viewpoint, content, facial expression, body language, costumes, things, stuff - everything! For "stuff", I like to think about what these folks do when I'm not looking at them. How do they scurry up that ladder when they go to bed at night? What is just slightly "off camera" that we may not be seeing? What's in that jug on the shelf? What kinds of visitors come and hang their coats on that coat rack by the door? Who winds that clock? What do the girls do during the day - I know, they pick cherries - there's a basket of them under the ladder...
Here's a detail shot of the mantle. Red is more active and wild - she likes to catch butterflies, so there's a jar of butterflies above her. Snow likes to read, so there's a stack of books above her.
On Snow White:
At one point in the story the girls are rescuing a dwarf whose beard has gotten stick in the split of a log. Snow whips out a little pair of scissors and cuts the beard, freeing him. There they are...
And a close-up of Rose Red (he takes you through the painting process/build-up via this close-up):
I like that he put Rose closer to Bear's teeth - it quietly shows us she's more daring than Snow, who is gently stroking the soft side of Bear's head. I love the curious goat behind Bear too.
You can find many more of Chris Beatrice's illustrations at his website HERE and see lots of art, art-in-progress and fantastic tutorials, like this one, on his blog HERE.
Do go show your appreciation and support. There's this nutty idea going about that there's a dearth of good illustrators these days (and apparently of strong narrative stories too!) and that just isn't true. Just look at the stunning illustrations for the new editions of the Lang Color Fairy Books being produced by the Folio Society HERE (to see the Green, Brown, Red etc books, scroll down the Folio page for links).
I will say one thing in regard to fairy tale collections though: one of the things I dearly loved (and love!) about the Andrew Lang, Joseph Jacobs and the Grimms Household Tales collections is that these text-heavy works have unforgettable illustrations throughout. I don't think these "anthologies" would have been as popular, or impacted as many generations as they have, without them. Fairy tale "memory" (I speak collectively here) is strongly linked to illustration. In this digital age of internet and access to almost anyone who logs into the world wide web we have an incredible resource that simply wasn't available - at least not to the common man - even just twenty years ago. Now we have collections and translations of all kinds, more than we could ever really read in a lifetime, yet I worry that many of these will fade out of public circulation in future and exist only in elite libraries - libraries which may not be able to access them in the future as they thought. (Note that there is a rising concern of the degradation of digital data for filmmakers and artists of all kinds who rely on digitization of any form. Why? Because the "decay" beings almost instantly and nothing much is being done about it. See link for details.)
|Donkeyskin by Chris Beatrice|
It's the paintings of the Pre-Raphelites that brought myth and legend (and fairy tales too, to some extent) back into the public eye (I'm speaking very generally here - historically it's more complicated than that) and it was illustrators like Arthur Rackham who worked extensively (though not exclusively) on large collections of fairy tales that captured the public's imagination and possibility of owning a piece of that "magic" for themselves. Fortunately many of the tales came with that "magic" and they lived on - the tales informed the illustrations and the illustrations kept the tales in peoples memories. A large reason Walt Disney had such success with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is that it was designed to be a "storybook come to life". One of the failings of the Company as it tries to work with fairy tales now, is that they don't truly aim to give life to beloved tales and then take them to a new and different place. Instead they're now focused on "branding" above all else.
|The White Bear by Chris Beatrice|