“onward, dorothy.”

planning out the icon arrangements for the checkerboard pattern
yes, i do my layouts with tape & paper & transfer paper. none of this computer nonsense.
drawings are transferred to illustration board.
and one-by-one, we start painting the background colours!
more greens for days…
ah… the ruby slippers. how convenient that red is the complementary colour of green to make them pop even more!
pop pop pop…. adding contrast and painterly sequins.
ooooh, i want those shoes!

based on l. frank baum’s the wizard of oz, “onward, dorothy” is an exciting command to just keep going on life’s great big adventure.

i pictured the background as both a checkerboard of obstacles she must overcome, as well as an allusion to that infamous yellow brick road.

the sepia frame is another reference to both the classic movie’s opening scenes which were NOT in full technicolor, and again, that yellow brick road, the path she has to follow and conquer on her way to oz.

in baum’s novel, the slippers were of course silver.  but mgm, wanting to show off their new technicolor technology, gave us the illustrious ruby slippers.  so i fudged a bit on the original source material, but come on– who doesn’t want a pair of ruby slippers that sparkle that well?!

background icons include dorothy’s basket, toto her trusted sidekick companion on both sides of the rainbow, the wicked witch of the west’s broom, a crow for the scarecrow, an oil can for the tin man, the cowardly lion’s silhouette, and emerald glasses (in the book, not everything in the emerald city was actually the color emerald, the visitors were given a pair of green-shade sunglasses to wear!)

you can purchase the faerie tale feet print here on my etsy shop:  http://etsy.me/1CX3NF5

the onward, dorothy greeting card here:  http://etsy.me/1KqpkFP

& fun fact, the piece of art that made me want to be an artist/illustrator was dorothy & the gang entering the emerald city, a watercolor piece by charles santore.  breathtaking.