Posts tagged #fairy tales

Featured Art Print: The Cautionary Tale of Hansel and Gretel

There's nothing quite like a famine, starving children and an evil witch to set the scene for a good bed time story or art print, for that matter! 

That's why we've included a more whimsical interpretation of the classic German cautionary tale for our "Hansel and Gretel" art print, illustrated by artist Shelby Rodeffer

"I've always loved German cautionary fairy tales, like the Struwwelpeter, that walk the line between cute and creepy, Shelby said. With a cannibalistic witch and a cottage made of candy, there's really nothing not to like about this story!"

Shelby's take on the classic Brothers Grimm tale, first published in 1812, illustrated by Ludwig Richter in 1842 and made popular by the 1893 opera by Engelbert Humperdinck is inspired by gingerbread houses and the beautiful landscapes by artist Eyvind Earle.

Earle really knew how to make a flat image look expansive, Shelby said. I wanted to make something big like his pieces yet simple enough to work with two colors, so I was also looking at a lot of old textile illustrations like these."

Shelby's focus on the house details and typography work well with the mid-century inspired illustration style, which each original illustrated print in our Fairy Tales art print series adheres to. 

Posted on July 16, 2015 and filed under Illustration.

Featured Art Print: The Romantic Tale of Sleeping Beauty

"She sleeps: her breathings are not heard In palace chambers far apart The fragrant tresses are not stirred That lie upon her charmed heart" wrote Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his poem "The Sleeping Beauty" in 1830. But the famous British poet wasn't the first to bring the romantic tale of the beautiful princess, the sleeping enchantment and the handsome prince into the world.

The story of "Sleeping Beauty" actually dates back to 1697 by French author Charles Perrault and then later collected as an oral tradition by the Brothers Grimm. Of course, there have been many more adaptations from literature, visual art, musical theater and ballet to animation. 

So it's not surprising that when I was researching a fairy tale to illustrate, my visual idea for "Sleeping Beauty" just clicked. Instead of focusing on the princess for my Sleeping Beauty print as so many famous illustrations and paintings do, I was inspired to create an illustration centered on another important character: the castle.

As with all my art prints, my process begins with a lot of research. I found a picture of the German Neuschwanstein Castle that became my main inspiration; coincidentally the "Sleepy Beauty" castle design in the Disney Parks is also based on this. With its dramatic towers, it's easy to see why the 19th century Romanesque Revival architecture of the hilltop castle is the source of inspiration for both me and Disney artists.

From there, for type reference I found a magazine clipping from a 1950s issue of Harper's Bazaar, which influenced the typography at the top of my illustration; I hand-drew all of the typography to give it a warm and old-fashioned feel.

"Sleeping Beauty" art print is part of our Fairy Tales art poster series that includes illustrations of other familiar and well-loved classic tales including Goldilocks and The Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, and Paul Bunyan.

Posted on July 8, 2015 and filed under Illustration.

Featured Art Print: The Intrusive Tale of Goldilocks and The Three Bears

Turns out our favorite bear family started out as three bachelors. And our favorite mischievous blonde wasn't even blonde! Or young! She was an old, ugly woman. Somehow "The Story of the Three Bears," the original title of arguably the most popular fairy tale, isn't that intriguing. 

But that's how it started with British author Robert Southey first publishing the widely told tale "The Story of The Three Bears," in 1837. From then the story evolved several times most notably in 1849 when author Joseph Cundall changed the antagonist from an old, ugly woman--he felt there were too many stories that centered on old, ugly women--to a pretty little girl. It wasn't until the early 20th century that this pretty little girl was named Goldilocks and the three bachelor bears became "Father, Mother and Baby Bear."

Early illustrations of Goldilocks and The Three Bears are quite serious and literal--no fun at all in our opinion. With our Goldilocks and The Three Bears art print, the goal was to find a fun, whimsical portrayal of the bears--not too serious like the original prints and not so too cartoonish like modern illustrations.

Like the other art prints in our Fairy Tales poster series, our Goldilocks poster, drawn by artist Julian Baker, is illustrated in our signature mid-century inspired style and features the orange and blue color palette. 

Posted on June 30, 2015 and filed under Illustration.