Monday, February 23, 2009

The Four Clever Brothers

A lesser known Grimm story, The Four Clever Brothers, tells the tale of (imagine this) four brothers. They aren't exactly clever at first but they each make their way into the world and learn a specific skill. These skills are useful in and of themselves but the especially come in handy when the king's daughter is kidnapped by a dragon. Each of the brothers contributes in an essential way to rescuing the princess using their particular abilities but since they all helped equally they all feel they have an equal claim to marrying the princess. The king settles it this way :

"Then the king put in a word, and said, 'Each of you is right; and as all cannot have the young lady, the best way is for neither of you to have her: for the truth is, there is somebody she likes a great deal better. But to make up for your loss, I will give each of you, as a reward for his skill, half a kingdom.' So the brothers agreed that this plan would be much better than either quarreling or marrying a lady who had no mind to have them. And the king then gave to each half a kingdom, as he had said; and they lived very happily the rest of their days, and took good care of their father; and somebody took better care of the young lady, than to let either the dragon or one of the craftsmen have her again."

Well, that's all well and good but truthfully, what is so great about this story is the one little line :

"There they found the princess sitting, as the star-gazer had said, on the rock [island]; and the dragon was lying asleep, with his head upon her lap."

That's just way too cool so it was the moment I went for. One small detail I changed was the dragon resting its head in her lap. It obscured the princess too much. I hope to not get a call from Jakob and Wilhelm over it. That would be an awkward conversation.

Thumbnail and color comp.

Watercolor rough in progress.

An admittedly rough painting, however when my ultimate goal is for digital work I treat the watercolor much more like an underpainting and just look for textures and some values. I scan the drawing first of all so I've got it and then I paint the drawing. This is a way I've found works well under a deadline and gets me what I am looking for. I'm usually not so concerned with color at this point, some local color but when I know that soon I'll be painting digitally I tend to focus my time on the texture and actual paint-ness of the paint.

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The Princess and the Dragon
from The Four Clever Brothers

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Next post : Little Red Riding Hood, or my fascination with an old composition.


Grey Room said...

Hey Mr. Godbey,
i just received my copy of the Ticket.. and your sketchbook 2008! Wow, didn't expect that, Thank you so much =D

Steven said...

Lookin' good. Love the rough sketch. Amazing what a difference a splash (heh, forgive the pun) of color makes.

Happy Fat Tuesday! :D

ThinkBaker said...

whoa! the whites.. are you using Gouache or pro-white for the whites? or is that just hick watercolors?

I order some of the paper you link me to earlier. thanks! I can't wait to get it in and try it out! I love the texture you get on your scans from that paper.

ThinkBaker said...

edit..."Thick" .... no such thing as "Hick Watercolors"..... or IS there???? oooWEEEEoooo!

Generic Viagra Online said...

the concept of this picture is impressive, I love the way that the cartoonist made it, the princess and the dragon what a classic book, and of course one of my favorites.