A sister and brother who love each other dearly are turned into a lamb and a little fish, respectively, by their very jealous witch-stepmother in order to keep them apart.
The lamb is saved from the cook's knife by her brother's song...

"Ah, little sister, up on high,
How sad is my poor heart
While in this pond I lie."

Who doesn't love a fairy tale now and then?

No Boats About It

The Underground Man by Mick Jackson

The ending of The Underground Man left me thoroughly saddened. In addition to that, I am also reading Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, which brilliant but also mega-depressing. So, to combat this overall wamp-wamp mood, I decided to draw one of the lighter moments in The Underground Man.

The Duke is coerced to participate with all the townsfolk that has congregated to play on the manor's frozen lake. To prevent the townsfolk from knowing The Duke's identity, his manservant, Clement, bundled The Duke with so many layers that he could barely move his limbs or head. With ancient skates in hand, he set off to the frozen lake shore.

There he found a very small child sitting in a boat that was stuck halfway in the frozen lake. They were both equally equipped against the cold weather. Mobility sacrificed for the sake of warmth. The child took notice of him and offered him and apple. "Ap-ple?"

"Good boy," the Duke said, and patted the child on his well-insulated noggin.

About the illustration:
Watercolor with ink overlay. I also changed the black ink on the snow to gray ink in Photoshop.

After I decided to draw this scene, I realized that the other Booksketch I did for The Underground Man (The Apple Tree) also focused on apples. While "apple" can't really be a theme, there were several times where apples where mentioned and discussed. The Duke did have an apple orchid on his property, so they were probably on his mind a lot, haha.

Making a Mockery

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Illustrations by Brian Jocks

Ever since reading this story I have been trying to illustrate the Mock Turtle. I've painted him, and drawn him over and over. So, obviously I've got finished pieces in a variety of media. Hope you guys like them.

In the book,
Alice and the Gryphon run into him on the beach and he's weeping. He tells them he used to be a real turtle and talks about his school in the ocean. He goes on to teach Alice a dance called the Lobster Quadrille. In this dance, sea creatures dance with lobsters and hurl them into the ocean. I really liked the imagery, so I drew the Mock Turtle with a reluctant dance partner. It looks a little more like a crawfish than a lobster, but I figured that Crawfish Quadrille has a nice ring to it.

At the end of the book, Alice wakes up to the sounds of Cows 'moo'ing and this kinda explains the Mock Turtle's strange cries and his cowishness.

More sketches to come from Wonderland