“let it snow queen.”

snow 1
lots of fun sketching of arctic animals and snowflakes before beginning this piece…
snow 2
and lots of potential shoes for our magnanimous and nefarious snow queen.
snow 3
here’s the final drawing of animals that play a tale in the tale, shoes, and snowflakes ready to be transferred to illustration board.
snow 4
i painted the snowflakes, animals, and snow queen feet with resist so i could lay over streaks of wet gouache for the background in lots of cool hues.
snow 5
once the background was dry, i removed the resist and painted in the animal silhouettes. (in real life they are beautiful– subtle fur and variations of midnight blues and deepest purples.)
snow 6
shoes are almost done here… and i added shadows and details to the snowflakes for depth and variety.
snow 7
i gave the snow queen some intricate snowflake tattoos on her legs just for fun. so tiny that i had to use a seem ripper to transfer them before tracing them with metallic ink for a finale. 😉

“let it snow queen.”

original faerie tale feet gouache painting by me, hallie m. bertling

11×11″ on illustration board

some of you may know the tale as disney interpreted it for the recent animated (understatement: hit!) “frozen.” it was originally a pretty episodic tale by our beloved hans christian andersen. various versions include an evil goblin flying through space who breaks a mirror which only reflects the worst in people. so when a shard lands in both the heart and the eye of kai, he gets carried away with his own meanness, runs away with the snow queen by hitching his stolen sled to her magical flying sleigh, and is about to freeze (inside and out) until gerda, through a LOT of brave & heroic & often distracting adventures, rescues her friend from the snow queen’s coldhearted grasp. spoiler: her tears of love melt the coldness in his heart and the deception in his eyes.
you should read it. i don’t do it justice.

seen in my original gouache (& ink for her snowflake tattoos!) painting are four creatures who help or hinder gerda along her path to rescue her best and dearest friend when she refuses to give up on him.

i tried something different than my usual patterned background iconography– i could have used: the mirror shards, the rose arch, a sled, a sleigh, icicles, gerda’s red shoes, a boat, magic comb, sunbonnet, owls, a wise old woman with grey braids, the troll, angels, a prince & princess, a throne in the middle of a lake, a muff, the snow queen’s fireworks, a magnifying glass, the talking flowers, and more.

but in the vastness of the tale are also the reindeer, the wolves, a raven, and a polar bear guard. they are both friends, foes, obstacles, and sages; gerda ultimately wins, for, as the wise woman said:

“i can give her nothing more powerful as that which she already has– a loving heart.”

you can order the limited, signed edition prints here on my etsy site:  http://etsy.me/1NDMQC5

and the snow queen greeting cards here:  http://etsy.me/1EcG4kI

original painting is still available framed for $425.  contact me.  🙂


“beauty seen.”

beauty 1
looked at a lot of illustrated versions… and somehow my first beast sketches looked like a tony diterlizzi illustration… fine by me! i ended up of course just using the beast’s shadow….
beauty 2
starting to trace the icon drawings from the tale to fill in the background pattern…
beauty 3
here’s the finished background drawing, which i retraced onto the illustration board with some transfer paper.
beauty 4
starting with the PINK gouache background, i start painting the piece one colour at a time. so background, then beasts shadow, then the shapes– and the shapes again to match what colour they’d be in beast’s shadow. woohoo colour theory!
definitely fell in love with the colour red gouache i mixed for the roses in the background!!
beauty 6
background done… time to paint the shoes! 😀
beauty 7
“beauty seen.” inside, outside, and discovered.

“beauty seen.”

original gouache painting (11×11″) from the faerie tale feet series by me, hallie m. bertling.
based on the french fairy tale tellings of “beauty and the beast,” or “la belle et la bĂȘte.”

(a little bit of madame de villeneuve and beaumont’s versions; both worth a read and a compare & contrast study in book club!)  😉

my image focuses on beauty’s feet (with jealousy-evoking marie-antoinette-like heels i made up) with beast’s looming shadow, her 6 sisters, birds from the castle menagerie, one of her ruined father’s merchant ships, the horse, the wolves, the magic mirror, the fleur de lis (vive la france!), the rose her father stole to bring back to beauty & source of all of beast’s wrath, a treasure chest that could never be filled to capacity, and the golden ring that beauty would turn to return to the beast’s castle after visiting her sick father & her greedy sisters tried to trick her into staying home instead of returning to the heart-broken & dying beast. (you see the original french tale is a bit even more dramatic than the disney classic! definitely worth the read & definitely worth watching jean cocteau’s black & white film version of 1946! & even more kudos to you if you can get your hands on a copy of christophe gans’ “la belle et la bĂȘte,” the 2014 french film.  stunning.)

you can get your limited edition signed print here:  http://etsy.me/1fzrWGq

or your greeting cards here:  http://etsy.me/1I4I0Xt

original painting has SOLD.