New working Thumbelina piece

18x24 oil on belgian linen

18x24 oil on belgian linen

It's been a long time, but I am finally starting to work on new pieces for the Thumbelina collection.  I've been excited to work on this image in particular.  The imagery in Hans Christian Anderson's passage is so beautiful.

The little fishes who swam in the water beneath her had seen the toad and heard what she had said. So up popped their heads to have a look at the little girl. No sooner had they seen her than they felt very sorry that anyone so pretty should have to go down to live with that hideous toad. No, that should never be! They gathered around the green stem which held the leaf where she was, and gnawed it in two with their teeth. Away went the leaf down the stream, and away went Thumbelina, far away where the toad could not catch her.

Thumbelina sailed past many a place, and when the little birds in the bushes saw her they sang, "What a darling little girl." The leaf drifted further and further away with her, and so it was that Thumbelina became a traveler.

A lovely white butterfly kept fluttering around her, and at last alighted on the leaf, because he admired Thumbelina. She was a happy little girl again, now that the toad could not catch her. It was all very lovely as she floated along, and where the sun struck the water it looked like shining gold.

-Hans Christian Andersen (1835)


I began working on this piece last year, but became discouraged with the size and decided to repaint it a little larger this time around.  Thumbelina would have probably ended up being actual size if I stuck with the original dimensions!

It was a hard decision, because I liked the underpainting I had started for it.  And also because... who wants to completely repaint something over again once you have already started!? I almost abandoned the new piece a dozen different times during the first few days. But in the end, I think I'm happy I decided to start over.

The good news is that because I had a value study to use as reference, I was able to begin painting immediately with color on the new one, which sped things up a lot. I hope to get some of the depth back with glazing once these layers have dried.  And to tone down the green.


I also happened to stumble upon some great mossy patches in the mountains last weekend and was able to get a few  reference photos. I am really excited to see what I can incorporate into this.  I'll post some more updates soon!