Among other goals I’ve set for 2017, one of them is to put together a series of illustrations of some of my favorite fairy tales to make a calendar. I’ve tried it several times before, but couldn’t keep the quality consistent, or the style uniform. So rather than spend a few weeks trying to crank through twelve drawings (each one takes over twenty hours) and burning out before the end like I usually do, I’m just trying to finish one per month.

March, with all its associations with green ties in well with the Frog Prince, so I thought I’d share the evolution of that illustration.


Got the basic figures drawn in. (I wind up reshaping her face all the way to the end)

Focused on the frog for a bit. I really wanted him to pop so I filled him in before I did her hair.

I usually don’t draw characters so close up, so it was fun to really focus on the details in her sleeve.

Landscapes in colored pencil are really difficult for me. Trying to add depth and shading without all of the greens and plants looking like they’re the same plant. And I tried out some still water techniques too that later changed.

Princess Lily and Everett
The finished drawing

And here they are, ‘The Princess and the Frog.’ I’ve named them Lily and Everett. Let me know if you’d like to see how the rest of this project unfolds. Feel free to share some of your favorite artwork too.

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8 thoughts on “The Princess, the Frog, and the Gold Ball

  1. Wonderful drawing! Thanks for sharing the steps. It’s always insightful to see how others go about putting their image together. I have a bunch of “progress” photos from the drawing I showed you that I need to put together somehow…anyway, great drawing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m a big fan of watching time lapse videos and speed paintings on YouTube. It’s so cool to watch a blank page turn into a slice of the artist’s mind. Would love to see some of your progress shots.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work. I paint my covers, so I know how much work goes into these things. Today at art class, I was standing outside, looking at my Hans and Greta cover, trying to decide what else it needed.

    Some of the exercise class gals stopped and said nice things, which is always heartening. But then one of them said, “You should stop now. Just keep it simple.”

    What really ran through my head was, “Do you have any ideas how many layers of acrylic paint are already on that thing?!”

    But I smiled and thanked her. She was trying to be helpful.

    I figured you might understand, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always been drawn to the classical artists who would always add symbolism to just about every object in the painting. Every detail meant something, every color choice. If there was a flower then its meaning was symbolic. It can make for busy images though, so yes I can understand how that feels.
    I hope you get some more input before you make any changes to your cover. I love that acrylics let you just keep painting over everything, but it’s a pain making changes and then realizing you should have left it alone. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not making any radical changes, but they do need some shadows on their faces (they’re facing a sunset).

    I like symbolism in pure art, but for this I’m just trying for a single compelling image that makes the viewer feel something.

    And the critiques are why I paint these things in an art class. I know how to paint, but I trust these people to give me uncompromising feedback, which is what I really need. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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