Blue Bird and Fairy painting Little Friends inspired by Victorian fairy art

I’ve always had a deep love for the whimsical children’s book fairy art of the Victorian era, and have a lovely collection of classic stories illustrated by Arthur Rackham, Kate Greenaway, Beatrix Potter and Walter Crane, to name a few.

Arthur Rackham remains my biggest inspiration for his inimitable style, his illustrations being rich in whimsy, detail, lyricism, with gothic darkness and fantastical elements blended in…

 

 

I recently discovered a gorgeous Australian illustrator of a slightly later time, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, whose  illustrations are just as delightful. A contemporary of similar Australian artist May Gibbs, Ida’s art is utterly charming, featuring the sweetest fairies and sprites all in beautifully imagined settings amidst trees, flowers and butterflies. I immediately fell in love with her way of depicting little folk in relationship with nature elements, often showing fairies with frogs, birds and rabbits.

 

Image result for ida rentoul outhwaite

 

Her work inspired me to paint a little whimsical picture of a Bird and a Fairy, similar to one of hers, sitting together in cosy friendship on a branch of cherry blossoms.

We get BlueBirds occasionally at our birdbath, and they are so bright and magical to see, so I thought it would be fitting for such a bird to have an equally enchanting friend to cuddle up to.

 

 

It started off with a pencil and pink pen outline on my favourite Stonehenge paper, keeping note of the movement and flow that I wanted with the blossoms and branches.

 

 

Then, lightly colouring it with layers of watercolours and coloured pencil: this stage in itself could have been the finished painting, but I wanted a bolder more detailed artwork.

 

 

The finished painting has been further layered with colored pencil, gouache and watercolours. I kept the color palette fairly simple with corals, blues, pinks and greens. It measures 4 x 6 inches, and is available as a lovely art print, perfect for a children’s room, in my online shop here.

Thanks for visiting, take care and stay well!

 

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