MOON + JELLYFISH
Out in the middle of a wide dark sea, a little jellyfish was all alone. It waited such a long time to find its kin, but nary another jelly did it meet. The sea offered companions of tuna, dolphin, and herring, but none of these would do. Then one night, the little jellyfish looked up and saw the biggest, most glorious jelly of them all shimmering just above the waves. Its bell was so great and bright that its tentacles could not be seen. The little jelly loved it at once and called it Frederic, never knowing it was giving its tiny heart to the moon.
Notes: It has been a while – I’ve been distracted by some other artistic pursuits. With this image, I wanted to really focus on the technical representation of looking through water at the moon. It was a fun challenge. I started with a reference for the jellyfish and then gave in to whimsy. Feeling more comfortable all the time.
QUEEN + CHICKEN
The queen’s evident insanity was the talk of the kingdom. Shortly after the death of her husband, the beauteous queen became fixated on one of the chickens in her royal barnyard, proclaiming to her court that the chicken was none other than the recently deceased king reincarnated as a laying hen. She commissioned a special crown to serve as a nest for her beloved chicken and wore both crown and bird upon her head at all times, insisting the chicken-king must be consulted and included in all royal matters.
Fearing that the neighboring kingdom would catch wind of their queen’s peculiar new habit, nobles and peasants alike adopted the practice of wearing small barnyard animals as living hats, hoping the act would be attributed to fashion rather than madness. By the time word had spread of “the kingdom of animal hats”, its residents were enjoying the advantage of a fierce reputation derived from the hyperbole of storytellers. It was certain that no one would be foolish enough to think of plundering or enslaving a kingdom whose residents were capable of making weasels and rattlesnakes pretend to be hats.
Notes: Began with a scanned sketch for this one and left segments of the line drawing in the finished work. Also experimented with the shape tool and overlaying patterns for the background. While the tools are becoming more intuitive, I’m still having trouble getting a smooth workflow established – something that will (I hope) enable me to move more quickly. For the story, Ryan and I have a particular fondness for chickens and hats, so they will likely be a theme with these entries. I actually think I may flesh this concept out as a full story as the illustration potential for the hats is kind of exciting. Stay tuned…