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  • Writer's pictureRobert Martel

from the VAULT

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Spring is one of my most creative seasons of the year (Autumn being the other) when not only do I produce a fair amount of work, but often with new and very different subject matter and materials. With March just around the corner I thought I would dig a couple of older pieces out of the art vault before I drop out of sight for the next two months.

For the first piece--an ink and watercolour pencil illustration of Cuchulain, the great hero of Irish mythology--I referred to Alicia Austin's gorgeous piece found in Legends of Valor, the fifth book in the Time-Life Books series The Enchanted World (Brendan Lehane, 1984, p. 6-7).

I remember being pleased with the piece at the time but now that look it my eyes keep returning to the poorly proportioned arms and the claw-like thumb on his left hand. In the end my illustration is a sad copy of Alicia Austin's beautiful piece. I suppose that is why I still enjoy looking at my piece, namely because it evokes the feeling I get when I sit and stare at Alicia Austin's stunning work.

Cuchulain after Alicia Austin: watercolour painting
Cuchulain after Alicia Austin: watercolour painting

The second piece is based on Scott Gustafson's wonderful rendering of the mischievous and playful Peter Pan. For this piece I did not refer to Gustafson's paintings from Peter Pan, published by Viking Books (1991), but to A Treasury of Children's Literature (Houghton Mifflin 1992, p. 195). I remember having difficulty with the face and neck but at the time I was simply too impatient to re-work the unsuccessful parts of my illustration. I am pleased with the watercolour work on Peter's tunic, as well as my overall rendering of the sword.

Peter Pan after Scott Gustafson: watercolour painting
Peter Pan after Scott Gustafson: watercolour painting

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#copying #mistakes #PeterPan #Cuchulain #childrensbooks #AliciaAustin #Scott #Gustafson

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