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.
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!