Friday, February 27, 2009

Medieval Maidens

The maidens in these drawings are from a much earlier era than the ones I've posted so far. These first two were inspired by an ancient book of fairy tales I once found. I loved the old styles of hair and clothing, and the lethargic poses in the illustrations! This is called "Waiting for the Frog Prince." The princess has lost her golden ball in the pond and the frog prince is soon to retrieve it for her.
I call this one "Waiting for the Beast," as in Beauty and the Beast. I think this must be after she began to fall for the Beast because she appears much too relaxed to be afraid. Maybe even a little bored. Her feet are on a footstool, for goodness sake!

Back in the 1970s or 80s there was a miniseries on television called "The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth." There were pictures in the TV Guide of the actresses who played his various wives. I was fascinated by the clothing, so naturally I had to draw myself as some of them. Not that the idea of being married to a self-centered, lecherous, murderous old man was appealing, but the whole notion of being spoiled royalty seemed so enchanting!
Here is a second drawing taken from another unfortunate Henry the Eighth wife. Her cleavage is a little less startling than the last, but that was actually the style of the period. Anyone who has been to the Renaissance Festival can attest to that.
I remember the first time we took our young children to the festival: their eyes about popped out when they saw some of those ladies' bodices. But then, my ex-husband's eyes also popped out of his head!

This is the first of three maidens I found drawn together on a sheet of notebook paper. This lady is very angry, for reasons unknown. Probably a scene from a book I was reading at the time. Don't you think she has "Bette Davis Eyes"?
Here we have a cloaked heroine. The upswept hair is different. I remember experimenting with the cloak blowing off to the side and revealing the skirt.

Here is another royal medieval lady. I think the thick braids look kind of cool. I also like the woven lace theme in the bonnet, bodice, and sleeves.
Here are the threesome together on the notebook paper where I found them. I notice that every drawing in this post was sketched on lined paper. I must have been in a very sketchy mood.

Okay, I know this one doesn't match my ongoing theme here, but I honestly don't know where else to put her! She SO does not fit with my usual subject matter. I vaguely recall seeing a picture of this girl in a magazine or somewhere, and she was so perky and cute I just had to draw her (and give her my hair!).

What's funny about this sketch is that I totally HATED being in band myself! I played clarinet for 5 years, which I also hated with a passion. My dad played clarinet and saxophone in high school and insisted I follow in his footsteps, even though I begged to play flute.

When I became a sophomore and learned on the first day of school that I'd have to march on the field wearing those "ugly" (at least in my opinion back then) uniforms, I quit band that very day. I never went back. I chose to face my dad's wrath over the utter humiliation I felt at the very idea! However, my dad was surprisingly mild in his disappointment.

Suffice it to say, all three of my children were allowed to choose their own instruments!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Damsels in Distress

Here is a set of drawings that feature women in various states of emotion. Again, these are heroines from novels I read, with me imagining myself in their roles.

The name I gave this lady is Seren, and I call it "Seren in Distress." I just loved those long, flowing gowns rustling in the wind!

I never gave this young girl a name, but I almost imagine she is entering a convent or some other place safe from the world since she seems so timid. I call it "Innocence on the Path."

There is something Cinderella-ish about this sketch, so I call it "Fleeing the Ball." More lovely, flowing skirts!

I just call this one "Cleavage"! What was I thinking? Oh well, I was very young then. I don't know what possessed me to do a pleated skirt--not nearly as pretty as the flowing ones.

And finally, I call this one "Reluctant Puritan." She seems downright upset. I'm not sure, but I may have been inspired by the much-read and much-loved novel "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" by Elizabeth George Speare.

Notice the purple lines bleeding through the paper? I drew this one on the back of a flyer from church. Those of us over forty probably remember the pretty purple of papers put through the ditto machine. (How's that for alliteration?) We just loved to sniff the delicate aroma of freshly printed dittos back in the day! (Maybe the cleavage moment came from too much ditto-sniffing?)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pencil Heroines

Ooh, I have an almost endless supply of heroines still to post, especially these that were sketched in pencil. Some are better than others, but they all fed my fantasies of adventure and love in my younger years!

These first 3 sketches are unusual in that they are not full-body, standing figures, but I was pretty well pleased with how they turned out.
There is a name on the stone bridge in tiny print. I sometimes named my sketched ladies, I'm not sure why. Sometimes the name was one I thought was cool and sometimes it was the name of the heroine in the current novel I was reading. This girl is called Mavoureen, an old Irish name I thought was neat. She seems so romantic, all wistful and gazing off into the distance.

Mavoureen is unusual in another aspect: she has dark hair. Nearly all of my heroines were given blonde hair because they were an extension of myself. Apparently I was not mirroring myself in this drawing. Even her facial features are quite unlike mine. However, I actually liked this drawing well enough that I did a similar one at a later time, which will show up in another post. It's kind of a funny take on a new theme and, of course, that one features a blonde!

This is Arabella, the name of the main character in another regency romance. I drew her in June 1973, when I was 18.

Rebecca is the name that just seemed to fit this girl's face. She appears to be open and optimistic. I drew this one in June 1971 when I was 16.

Here are two more drawings sharing a page which I found in my stacks of old art. I recognize my style, but I honestly don't recall drawing them or remember what they were all about.

These two ladies are dressed in clothing from about the turn of the century, 1900 or thereabouts. I was never too interested in that era and I don't remember any books I read from that era, so these gals are a bit of a mystery.

The girl in the black hat looks rather boring, frankly! The girl in the floral hat seems young, maybe a preteen. Obviously I lost interest and never finished her. They are not my favorites, but I guess they aren't too terribly drawn. I suppose they can't all be winners!