This fall my agents at CATugeau Artist Agency decided to do a postcard mailing with the theme "Act of Kindness." This is my postcard illustration about an unlikely set of strangers taking shelter from a storm.
When approached with the topic of an "Act of Kindness", I had to find a way to make it my own. I wanted to tell a story that was outside the realm of the every day.
I was initially intrigued by the idea of someone large helping someone small. This is where the idea of the fairy began. Many of my first thumbnail sketches included a little girl and a fairy. I had never painted a fairy before, so I loved the idea of tackling it for the first time. As I sketched, my ideas eventually evolved into the fairy helping someone from her world. I have an affinity to painting people with animal friends, so this felt right.
There were several challenges I faced with this piece. The first was that I've never painted a raining scene before. I did a lot of research on how to paint rain, especially at this micro level.
Compositionally, I knew it would be a challenge to make sure my fairy and mouse stand out in front of a busy background. I approached this problem in all of my initial sketches. In my value sketch, I decided to make the background very loose and light. This would force my fairy to be darker, and would allow for a nice rim light to enhance her silhouette. Then in my color study, I decided to use cooler blues in the background, which would make a pink outfit on her pull forward.
By solving all these compositional challenges in my early stages, it allowed me to begin my final painting with certainty. See all of my preiminary work below.