Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Character Series

Back in the Fall I drew a series entitled "Props from Alice in Wonderland"; The spotted mushroom, the Mad Hatter's hat, "Eat me" macarons, and tea cups, all in pink and white. That was the first group in my Alice in Wonderland series. This group entitled "Characters" is drawn in two shades of pink, light blue, light yellow, black and white.

"Characters" introduces us to Alice in a big way, also The Mad Hatter, The Duchess, The Cheshire Cat, The White Rabbit, and The Queen of Hearts. The Alice illustrations tell the story of changes she experiences throughout the story. The bewildered look on her face, is directed at the baby she is holding in her arm that just turned into a pig. Her other arm and hand are being thrust through an open window as she once again enormously grows . Her standing legs and feet are symbolic of her height since her height keeps changing. The Cheshire Cat is grinning from inside her because children are so curious as is Alice. So, all five of the center illustrations make up Alice in puzzle like form and then the other characters surround and encircle her, illustrating that the characters bombard and confuse her in the story.

I really wanted to portray the Characters in a non-threatening way. The Props series was suitable to hang in a nursery with its simple shapes and monochromatic pink. It is a calm series. I have the independent toddler in mind for The Character series. When children reach the age of "I'm a big girl. I'm not a baby anymore." The phase when their rooms are transformed from a baby nursery theme to some characters they like. This is also why I portrayed Alice as younger than she is in the book (so that young children could identify with her and also look up to her because she is probably 7 or 8).

As I was saying it was important to me that these characters not be too ominous, not scary in any way. So, The Mad Hatter looks "Mad" in a happy out of his mind kind of way. The Duchess, who is considered by the story and original illustrations to be an ugly woman, I gave pig like features (since she may be the Mother of the child who turns into a pig). Instead of ugly I was going for a sweet pig lady. The Cheshire Cat was particularly important to me to give a happy grin because my daughter finds some characters with big grins to be rather scary. The rabbit I did not draw as irritated which, as he is late, can not find his gloves and fan etc., could be portrayed that way. Instead I tried giving him a handsome portrait. The Queen of Hearts was a challenge. She IS always shouting, "Off with her head!" A rather violent, bossy queen. I played up the bossy side and could not keep her from shouting but tried not to make her look mean.

I hope you like and enjoy this new series. I will be offering them in my shop in the next couple of days. I've been drawing so much for the past week I have gotten behind in everything else and must catch up today, but hope to list these in my shop tomorrow. :)