Louisa Giffard

Month: September, 2013

Things get dark

A new set of the Bremen Town Musicians illustrations. You can find the first 5, and a little more detail about the project here. 

The story continues, and we go further into the darkness of the night. This means that there’s a lot more shadows that need to be painted in – a painstaking process. This, combined with the fact that these next illustrations feature more infrastructure, scenery and complicated set pieces means that the further four illustrations took longer to paint than the first five.

Thus far, the four animals, all fearing for their lives in their current situations, meet and decide to travel to Bremen to become musicians.

The rooster agreed, and all four went on together. But they could not reach the city of Bremen in one day. In the evening they came to a forest where they decided to spend the night. The donkey and the hound lay down under a large tree, while the cat and the rooster settled themselves in the branches. But the rooster flew right to the top where he would be the safest of all. Before he went to sleep, he looked all around and thought he saw a little spark of light burning in the distance.  He called out to his companions that there must be a house not far off, for he saw a light. The donkey said, “If so, we had better get up and go on, for the shelter here is bad.” The hound thought that a few bones with some meat on them would do him good too!

The rooster agreed, and all four went on together. But they could not reach the city of Bremen in one day. In the evening they came to a forest where they decided to spend the night. The donkey and the hound lay down under a large tree, while the cat and the rooster settled themselves in the branches. But the rooster flew right to the top where he would be the safest of all. Before he went to sleep, he looked all around and thought he saw a little spark of light burning in the distance.
He called out to his companions that there must be a house not far off, for he saw a light. The donkey said, “If so, we had better get up and go on, for the shelter here is bad.” The hound thought that a few bones with some meat on them would do him good too!

So they made their way to the place where the light was, and soon saw it shine brighter and grow larger until they came to a well-lit house, with robbers hiding inside. The donkey, as he was the biggest, went to the window and looked in. “What do you see, donkey?” asked the rooster.  “What do I see?” answered the donkey. “I see a donkey covered with good things to eat and drink, and robbers sitting at it enjoying themselves.”  “That would be the sort of thing for us,” said the rooster. “Yes, yes. Ah, how I wish we were inside!” said the donkey.

So they made their way to the place where the light was, and soon saw it shine brighter and grow larger until they came to a well-lit house, with robbers hiding inside. The donkey, as he was the biggest, went to the window and looked in.
“What do you see, donkey?” asked the rooster.
“What do I see?” answered the donkey. “I see a table covered with good things to eat and drink, and robbers sitting at it enjoying themselves.”
“That would be the sort of thing for us,” said the rooster.
“Yes, yes. Ah, how I wish we were inside!” said the donkey.

The animals wondered how they could drive away the robbers. At last, they thought of a plan. The donkey was to stand with his forefeet upon the window ledge, the hound was to jump onto the donkey’s back, the cat was to climb upon the dog, and lastly, the rooster was to fly up and perch on the cat’s head.

The animals wondered how they could drive away the robbers. At last, they thought of a plan. The donkey was to stand with his forefeet upon the window ledge, the hound was to jump onto the donkey’s back, the cat was to climb upon the dog, and lastly, the rooster was to fly up and perch on the cat’s head.

When this was done, at a certain signal, they began to perform their music together. The donkey brayed. The hound barked. The cat meowed. And the rooster crowed. Then they burst through the window into the room so that the glass shattered! At this horrible noise the robbers sprang up, thinking that a ghost had come in, and fled in fear out into the forest.

When this was done, at a certain signal, they began to perform their music together. The donkey brayed. The hound barked. The cat meowed. And the rooster crowed. Then they burst through the window into the room so that the glass shattered! At this horrible noise the robbers sprang up, thinking that a ghost had come in, and fled in fear out into the forest.

Still about six or so illustrations to go! Hopefully now that I’ve got some more time on my hands, I’ll be able to get the others done soon.

You’re like…an animal that’s just been skinned!

Little Ashes

Now, just in case you don’t know, I did a visual arts degree, with a significant theory component. I also work in a national art gallery. As a consequence, it’s safe to assume that I know a reasonable amount about art…but for all that, I haven’t tried to pastiche or parody many artist’s styles before. Nor do I know much about surrealism (I think I skipped out on that particular lecture.)

That said, I’m about to review a movie about Dali, so this is my attempt at a dali-esque title card. I wanted to do something more in his actual style, rather than just lazily slapping melting clocks over everything, so I’ve haphazardly arranged strange objects from the movie into the most appropriate composition I could think of and stuck it in the middle of a desert. I think it works.

I haven’t painted with acrylic for a very long time (I know Dali would have used oils, but fume-bearing paint in one’s own bedroom is  not a good plan), so when I began, I was completely unprepared for the way the paint behaved. Drying in 2 seconds flat? Argh!