My drawing and painting life
Copying from Sir John Tenniel, studying his drawing from Alice in Wonderland. For fun I put it on one of the colored pages that I’d prepared earlier.
One of the colored pages had a nice spot of light in the center which seemed to fit where the center of attention lies in this illustration: Alice holding up her arms in alarm, as though she’s holding off the cards. It is a scene near the end of the story, where Alice is in the court where an animal is about to get sentenced. The feeling of the scene is similar to earlier ones with the Queen who constantly is calling out to cut of the heads of characters. It’s unfair, no one knows what to expect, it’s frightening. In this scene there is a sense of things might turn badly for the little animal as well. Alice is looking on and starts to grow into her own shape and gets bigger and bigger. As a result she is no longer so afraid of the grumpy queen and the judge (the king). She speaks up against the court. The cards go flying and animals start running away in every direction.
Before I started I thought I’d just do part of the drawing, see if I could pull it off drawing Alice freehand and make it look anything like the original. (If I’d planned drawing the complete illustration I might have measured placement on the page a little better. Now I just had to adjust some of it to fit the page.) Drawing her seemed to work quite well, but when I’d almost finished the Alice figure without surroundings, it didn’t seem to make sense. Not without the flying cards. And when doing the cards, and I was looking well at the whole picture, I realized there were all these running animals and they were needed to supply the feeling of alarm that’s also in the scene in the book.
It was hard to keep my focus and go on even when I ran up against the limitations of my tools (a really fine tipped pen which didn’t make it easy to copy the bolder hatching and pen strokes in the original). But still I am quite happy with this one.
Process of daily creating
Given job and home duties I feel it’s better to stop posting daily. I am also looking for studio space (so exciting!) and need to take care of publicity for the course I’m preparing. Loads to do. And also I am hoping to come up with a new rhythm for posting by March 1st. I just need to work out plans. So don’t be alarmed if there’s no posts for a few days.
Like the French say: ‘reculer pour mieux sauter’ – or: taking a few steps back to make a better jump!
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