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Thank god this is done. It took forever. The initial sketch took forever. The final sketch took forever. The digital inking took forever. The coloring took forever. I started it I think in July and it's finally finished in September. I had to put it on the back burner for awhile, but it had to have taken at least total 6 hours if not more.
This is for the fairy tale contest over at
So I've illustrated one of the stanza's of the Scottish Ballad/fairy tale, Tam Lin. Here's a rough summary of Tam Lin:
Tam Lin lives in the Carterhaugh Forest under the thrall of the faerie queen. He takes the viriginity of any virigin who wanders into the forest. Janet (sometimes Margaret or Mary) picks a rose from the forest. Tam Lin appears and asks her why the heck is she picking his roses. Janet replies, "The forest is mine, my dad left it to me." The story jumps ahead (no smut for you haha) to Janet goes home and discovers she's pregnant. She declares she won't forsake the child's father who is a elf or faerie. So off she goes to the forest again to either pick a rose or a different plant (depends on the variant what the plant's for). Tam appears again is like, "Why are you picking my plants?" Janet asks him if he was ever human (since he's the father of her child). Tam was a mortal who fell off his horse and was rescued by the faerie queen. But! Wait a moment, the faeries give a tithe, one of their own, every 7 years to hell on Halloween (nice people there). It's Halloween and Tam thinks he may be the tithe. He is to ride as one of the faerie queen's knights on a white horse. Janet grabs a hold of Tam when he's riding with the faeries. He gets turned into all sorts of creatures including an adder by the faeries so Janet would drop him. Finally he gets turned into a coal which she has to throw in a well. She does, he becomes a man again and she has to hide him. So he gets hidden under her shawl (usually green/tartan depending on what version). She wins her man back and the faerie queen is furious, but she admits defeat. Tam and Janet live happily ever after.
Here's the Wikipedia article:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tam_Lin
One of the many versions of the ballad: www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/c…
Ballard being sung: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWf5yB… (caution in middle English )
*edit 9/11/2013* Adjust saturation so it was more muted do to excessive darkness.
Wonderful nouveau-art concept! You have a great balance between plain colors and textured colors, and a you've created a beautiful set-up for the layout! I really like the sketchy lines (no straight lines), it makes the artwork looks like it really has been made during the medieval times, where only ink was available for these sort of illustrations. I can see you really took your time for the details, especially on the snake. Each scale is unique! I'm pleased to see you managed to play with the colors green and red without making the artwork look like Christmas. It's beautifully done and I actually really love the colors you picked-up. The moon looks beautiful and the texture inside is so original! I know hands are difficult to draw. Though, since it's female hands, removing few lines could help to make them look slender and fresh. Especially for the one behind the snake. The colors of the woman's dress and of her hair is a little too similar. Her hair behind her back is getting lost in the fabric. Maybe increasing the contrast of the texture of her hair would be enough to make the color stand out more. Her scarf is soooooo pretty! I actually have one pretty similar to this one at home 8D
The font of the name ''Tam Lin'' is a little flat. Maybe choosing a more unique/artistic font would help to make the artwork more homogenous. Or you could simply work on the font by yourself, by adding few lines to it and making it your own font I'm not sure about the sentence at the bottom of the template. My English skills are not perfect, maybe you can help me to understand the message behind the words *-* ?
Suggestions (A suggestion is when it's not important, but can be useful to you)
- In the box where Tam Lin is written, I would have added a subtle texture.
- The grass at the feet of the trees, I would have added an outline to it. To make it less transparent.
Overall, it's easy to tell that you are a passionate artist; the details are wonderful, and the set-up is so original. Also, I'm glad to see you had such a great idea out of Senshi's stock! Wonderful job!
thanks for the critique I really appreciate it. I will have to look at the font's license and see if I can edit it. Not sure if I can in my program--but my college's print lab has the full adobe creative suite so I could try there. The font was one of the few art nouveau type fonts that are free.
Ah the sentence at the bottom is a line from the Ballard actually. Basically it's what I'm illustrating. Tam Lin gets turned into a snake by the Faeries and Janet (the girl) has to hold on to him even though she might be afraid, otherwise, he becomes the faerie queen's tithe to the devil . She had promised to rescue Tam Lin from the faeries since he's the father of her child. I might have to put that in the artist comments.