The Making of a Fairy – Part Two

After MUCH thought, many sketches and ‘clean up the studio’ preparation I have ‘put together’ a fairy picture. Although I would really like to … demonstrating all the steps of this process are too much to include in this blog!  Since I last wrote ‘the fairy’ has consumed me.  

Those processes included: how large to make the flower and how much to tip the fairy into the flower so it looks like she really belongs there.  Plus I needed to judge where to place her on the 14×11 white water color paper. After many thumbnails, I decided her head is best placed within the rule of thirds.

For you non-artists – A thumbnail is a small drawing without detail showing different compositions. That way I could visually see if I wanted the fairy low, high, left or right. Also, with her long leg and toe being flung out of the flower, I needed to keep her foot well within the edge of the paper or the composition would look wrong.

The rule of thirds is compositional guideline. It proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines.  I actually make lines right on the thumbnails to see which composition fits best with the rule of thirds.  It is important that compositional elements be placed along these lines or their intersections.

Since I wanted her expression as my main impact, I positioned her face close to where two lines intersect. I couldn’t position her face directly on those intersecting lines because I needed to make room for her wings, which weren’t created yet.

Other processes included what I wanted her wings to look like: butterfly, pointed, soft lines, etc. How big are a fairy’s wings anyway?  I looked it up: “Wings are placed along the curve of the shoulder blades, from just below the shoulder and about three-quarters of the way down the back.” I also put flowers on the wings and in her hair. I added a few butterflies to the image, one landing on the tip of her toe. That may or may not remain in the final image.

At this stage I left her form blank, rather than dressing it. I put in a few lines denoting the flow of her dress. At this time it is my intention to allow her legs to show through the sheer dress she will wear.

I have given some thoughts regarding color. I love the pink in the lotus plant, so I won’t change that. I thought that the dress should be lavender, as well as the wings. Don’t you think a fairies wings should match her dress?  I thought I would leave the butterflies yellow, as in the reference. ‘The Fairy’ is a strawberry blonde, so I want to capture those colors in her hair (hopefully.) I will check out my color wheel, when I begin to paint to see what colors compliment the strawberry blonde.

Those are just some of my thoughts as I begin this project. I am learning a lot! 

One thing for sure, I have a tendency to jump off the cliff and wonder how I am going to land. This is one of those times! Good Luck to me …


pencil drawing

Fairy too big in composition

Fairy too big in composition

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

Proposed eye movement of the viewer

Proposed eye movement of the viewer

3 thoughts on “The Making of a Fairy – Part Two

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