Friday, February 27, 2009

Hänsel und Gretel


Hansel and Gretel is a story I've always liked. It's scary, it's about abandonment, and it's the story of a (step)mother wanting to leave her (step)children for dead -- but in the end a little girl shoves a witch in an oven and rescues her brother. I appreciate the moral clarity. And depending on the version you read (or vague interpretation) the witch is the (step)mother. That is terrifying.

Out of all of my pieces for the show this is the one without any fantasy elements. It's simply a brother and sister lost in the woods. (Something Erin pointed out last night too, my show divides neatly between five well-known stories and five lesser-known stories.) I didn't plan it that way but I'll take it.

The story for me is really just about a brother and sister overcoming a terrible situation on their own. In real life my own little sister and I have been through a few things, here and there. Truthfully, this piece is more about that than about Hansel and Gretel. Hansel keeps watch while Gretel sleeps, or it might be better to say Hansel keeps watch so Gretel can sleep.

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The rough.


The color comp.


The final drawing.


(detail)


The watercolor under-painting.

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Hansel and Gretel
from Hansel and Gretel

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If it's been unclear, heretofor, none of the work I've posted yet is a finished, final piece. There are final drawings and final under-painting but these are all just steps in the process.

In production news, I'm on track completing the final watercolor under-paintings tonight. Mark your calendars, April 3rd, 2009. Be there! I'll be posting a poster with all the important information as the show date draws nearer but even so, I do sincerely hope you'll pencil in a visit.

Next post : The Nine Pea-hens, or why it's stupefyingly difficult to follow Arthur Rackham.