Time to write about my final calendar piece! I had actually had the idea for this piece before the calendar project started, so the other two illustrations were built around this one… which I started work on after I got back from Bologna last year. I liked the idea of illustrating the moment of the kiss in the Sleeping Beauty story, across two panels so that the main picture showed the moment just before the kiss, and the second panel showed the moment of the princess’s awakening. I liked the idea of the panel on the left having a coldness to it and the princess being quite colourless with her hands folded on her chest like a stone knight on top of a tomb. Then warmth coming in to the panel on the right when she’s ‘brought back to life.’ I’ve always loved the image in Sleeping Beauty of the castle suspended in time and enveloped in a mass of forest and briars. So I wanted to show the briars invading the interior, and also suggest the overgrown foliage outside by showing the shadow of leaves pressed against the window.
I was quite inspired by the art nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite series of paintings ‘The Briar Rose Series’ by Edward Burne-Jones… he gave a lot of attention in his Sleeping Beauty series to the image of the briars overtaking the castle.
I also had a lot of fun playing around with digital collaging in this image… the patterns on the princess’s dress were made up of elements from the fantastic illustrations of Ernst Haeckel’s ‘Kunstformen der Natur’ (Art Forms of Nature.)
I’d like to do a couple more scenes from this fairytale over the coming year, as I’ve enjoyed these ones so much… so watch this space!