Friday, June 12, 2009
Capturing the essence of a fairytale tree
A few days ago I went for a walk with one of my flatmates to buy some groceries. We were sharing ideas and I was surprised by the sight of the autumn trees: they looked like people, desperately using their trunks to express their longing for something.
Beautiful powerful, skinny or robust branches.
I made this illustration a couple of months ago for a project called The Juniper Tree: it's a fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, rather spooky. Check out the Gutenberg Project free files at http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2591
This is a detail of the illustration: I used pen, and a combination of digital or ink colouring. What I tried to express is the intense presence of the juniper tree: it almost becomes more human than the little speechless and powerless man besides.
As Mervin Peake says in his writings, "Don't be afraid to express what you see, the impression you had when you were inspired": the viewer probably doesn't want to see something realistic otherwise he'd be happier with a real tree in front of him. Illustrations can do something magic, like words can do in a fairytale.