Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fantasy Art Class

For the past three years, my oldest daughter and I have taught an after school fantasy art class at the charter school most of my grandchildren attend. This year, we selected 5 Grimm fairy tales from which the 20 5th-6th graders select one to illustrated a book cover for. The five stories are, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. Oh, these are the real Grimm stories, not the Disneyfied ones. During the 6 week period, they learn how to think on paper in the form of thumbnails, developing one into a refined sketch using photo reference, with emphasis on design and composition elements. We also touch on value and color theory. Each year, we've selected different mediums. This year, we decided on watercolor pencils, colored pencils and ink. We're using illustration board as their surface. The goal is to have a finished illustration at the end of the class.

My daughter and I try to stay a week ahead of the students so we can show them more effectively how to implement each step. I chose Rapunzel. Here are some preliminary sketches of her face.

  As I was drawing this last one, the idea of the prince climbing up the hair in a more stylized way, with the witch waiting with a pair of scissors materialized.
I didn't think of it then, but the composition reminded my daughter of the Bob Peak poster for the movie Camelot with Richard Harris. Hey, creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum, right?

I needed to put the tower in and decided on a silhouette behind her. Then thought about having her twirling her hair around one of her fingers.....

....then took it out and concentrated more on the silhouette of her face and body on the left side. Added thorn bushes.

Here is the final sketch. Added a moon to connect her more to the tower and made a few changes to prince and witch. Finished the 'rapunzel' flowers in her hair too. Next week...color.


Anonymous said...

I Love this! It never ceases to amaze me at your talent and creativity! I bet those kids enjoy you and their class so much!


Tammie Lee said...

how wonderful that you are teaching with your daughter! Fairy tales is an awesome theme. I loved your series of art and hearing about the thoughts and changes. The end piece is magical and a fine mystery to take in.

Brian said...

It's very cool to see how you develop the composition. Your end result sketch is awesome and I look forward to seeing how you implement color.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Jill - Is this the "Jill" I think it is? Thank you for your comments.

Tammie - Thank you for your encouraging words.

Brian - I appreciate you stopping by. Color is never easy for me. We'll see how it turns out.

Sophie Moss said...

I absolutely love this. Not surprising as I'm obsessed with anything fairy tale related. :) But I especially love the way her wild, unruly hair spills over the mountain and the prince has to climb up a sea of golden locks instead of one long braided rope like in the original tale. Fantastic adaptation. Can't wait to see the final version!

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Thank you Sophie. Fairy Tales are definitely enjoying a new renaissance, aren't they? I don't think we will ever tire of them or mythologies. There's a timeless quality to them.

Amy said...

Thanks for showing the evolution of this piece. I appreciate seeing the development of your ideas and the process of going from concept to final sketch.