The Fae

A while ago I watched the TV series Carnival Row on Amazon Prime. I loved it. Travis Beacham’s story and world was fresh, different and beautifully crafted. I was totally blow away by it. It’s set in a Victorian world where mythical races, collectively called “The Fae”, have been discovered. They include pucks, faeries, kobolds and centaurs. It is wonderfully done. Having watched the series, twice, I felt inspired to paint my own faerie. Last time I posted about this I got to the stage where I’d played around with the the idea and drawn some quick thumbnails.

From there I made a basic sketch of the pose I’d decided on…

Next I used this as a reference for a more careful drawing to use in my final painting…

Then I began to paint. I added a yellow wash with more pigment around the area where my sun was going to be and less elsewhere. (The yellow is a bit stronger on the actual painting than in this photo. I think my camera noticed that I was taking a photo under artificial light and corrected the white balance a bit too far..) Here’s the photo…

Then I painted my larger areas with some initial colour. For the wings I began with a light ultramarine wash with a tiny bit of viridian in it. I tried to keep it light enough that some of the sun colour would show through. Here’s this stage…

Now I wasn’t happy with the brown trousers she is wearing (above) so I reworked them into a blue. It gave me a really nice shade. I see brown as just a darker version of orange so I used that information to help me mix a new blue on the page. Once that was done I added some shading for all of the main colours and shapes and then got into the details – always my favourite part!!!

Here’s the final picture…

(PS: I’ve been unwell this week with a bug going doing the rounds at school. Apologies for any typographical errors etc. Although I wrote this post weeks ago I normally do a final editorial check before publication, however I haven’t been able to do that this week.)

The Fae

I had a slow start to art this week.  I’m still feeling quite weak from being ill and I had to concentrate mainly on work.  I did, however, watch a lot of a new TV show on Amazon called Carnival Row.

(Official Amazon Carnival Row Poster.)

It was the best TV I’ve watched in years!  I just loved the sparklingly new idea behind this series.  So much of Hollywood follows the same well worn path to the same formulaic stories.  It’s like a breath of fresh air to have newer video productions from people like Amazon (and Netflix) producing genuinely new stories and going in new directions.  From my point of view these guys are leaving Hollywood in the dust.  The script was written by an American Screenwriter called Travis Beacham.  It’s original title was  “A Killing on Carnival Row” but I guess they changed it to “Carnival Row” so that if the series takes off they can generate further stories.

I think I was really taken by the idea of the Fae – the fairies, the pucks, the centaurs – the creatures of legend brought into a gritty victorian, industrial reality.  I loved the subtext about the fight between nature and industry, between freedom and social convention and the views of different peoples on each other’s ways of life.

So I decided to make a larger (A3) ink drawing of a fairy and then colour it with just a touch of watercolour.  I began by making some thumbnail sketches.  This helps me get an idea of what I want to draw and organise my inspiration into a composition.  I used a wide range of reference, from standard face shots of models to ballerinas, to women diving in competition to get some ideas of how I could arrange my fairy on the page.

Here are the thumbnails – they are blown up to double the original size…


I really like the simplicity of the first one but it seems too static for a being who can fly.  The second one is a better pose in terms of movement but needs to have her wings above her body for it to really work.  The third is a classic ballet pose but looks too refined and restricted for a fae.

I’m going to have to think about this some more.  It will come with time.  🙂



PS:  I had some “help” today from my kitten, Leia, while writing this…

She came up with some good stuff…



Days 17 and 18 – A winged woman

Today I played around a bit more with my new graphgear mechanical pencil.


I drew a sketch of a woman with wings.  She started off as an angel and then became a fairy.  Then I put a dress on her, which, if you’re flying up in the air, isn’t exactly practical!  Anyway, I was trying see if I could follow Mark Crilly’s drawing style for his Miki Falls manga / comic book series.

Here’s an example of his art on this project:


I like the way he has thicker, darker lines around the main objects and then shades the rest like a really good pencil drawing.  You can really see what I’m mean if you look at Miki waking up in her sleeping bag in the bottom left panel.

So here’s my attempt at that kind of style / effect:



I used a black coloured pencil to do the thick outlines.  It was a watercolour pencil so it was really soft to use and I think I ended up making the lines too thick.  Nevertheless, I’m beginning to get there with that kind of style.


(Then just because I had the watercolour pencils out I decided to colour my picture…

I don’t like the watercolour pencil effect much.  I should have left it alone!