Wednesday, May 12, 2010

12WC, week 6, part one

Ok, so I'm giving up on pretending that it is still week 5, 'part two'... I could have posted the first very very rough pencil sketches of my Arab fairy/folk tale as week 5, but find that I am still unwilling to let anyone else see them... so on I go to week 6, which is this week, so that works out quite well.

First, a quick synopsis of the story for which I am going to be executing two illustrations; the title is "The girl who spoke jasmine and lilies".

 There were once three sisters.  The youngest replied to a question posed by their father with a rather self-righteous and contrarian response, which I assume is supposed to be interpreted as indicative of her goodness and piety.... her father casts her out, and she wanders out and marries the first poor labourer she encounters.  They have a daughter.  It is this daughter who is the focus of the story.  She is beautiful and good, and miraculous, too- when she washes her face in a basin of water, the water that has touched her skin turns to gold coins.  When she opens her lips, jasmine flowers and lilies tumble out.  News of her beauty, goodness and other special qualities spreads, and she is soon engaged to marry a prince in a nearby kingdom.

Her aunts hear of her good fortune, of course, and are jealous.  It seems wrong to them that the daughter of a poor labourer and their outcast sister should be so fortunate.  So they scheme.... they arrange it so that one of the aunts and her cousin (the aunt's daughter) should accompany her on the trip to the kingdom to be married.  On the way, the aunt deprives her of food and water, insisting that her cousin needs it.  She finally allows her a few drops of water in return for first one, and then the other, of the girl's eyes (which she cuts out, literally!).  Now that she has been blinded, the aunt turns her out of the carriage to wander alone, while they continue on.  The cousin pretends that she is the prince's fiancee, but he wonders about the lack of jasmine and lilies and the fact that she looks different, etc.  The cousin gives some inane excuses.  He remains suspicious.
In the meantime, the blind girl obtains some employment and disguises herself.  She fills a basket with jasmine and lilies and asks a flower seller to go into the kingdom and call out that he is offering jasmine and lilies for sale.  The wicked aunt hears this, and is eager to obtain them in order to allay the prince's suspicions.  The seller will only accept one eye as payment for the flowers.  What else is to be done?  The aunt cuts out her daughter's one eye and gives it as payment.  When the prince comes home, she shows him the basket and says, "look at the flowers that tumbled from my lips when you were away."  (keeping her bandaged eye turned away from him.)  The next day, same thing.... The seller brings the eyes back to the blind girl and she puts them into her eye sockets and she can see again... The prince follows ? the flower seller and discovers the girl, quickly realizes who she is, and all is put right.  The aunts and the cousin are not particularly punished, as far as I know, although the cousin does remain blind, apparently.

So:  here is the first pencil drawing, depicting the general state of things in the first part of the story- the loveliness of the girl, the scheming of her aunts and sisters:

The details of the drawing are not yet finished; I will elaborate the jewellery etc., also I will either draw the jasmine and lily flowers directly on the page or will do them separately to be added later...not sure yet.  The 'evildoers' corner' will be a darker blue, and the foreground will be a brighter, lighter colour- deep yellow perhaps?  Lilies and jasmine white, girl's garment bright pink.  I will add a background pattern but I will keep it simple; I do want to finish this someday soon....

The second illustration depicts the flower seller trading the flowers to the wicked aunt for the eyes.  I will post this soon.


  1. I love this, the "evildoers corner" reminds me of the art gallery scene from one of your HV stories! :)

  2. wow, that's one scary nightmarish story.

    I thought I was scary :)

    The sketch is looking good so far