Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends

Actaeon and Diana

This week’s Illustration Friday topic was a bit of a freebie for me: right now almost all of the images I have in my portfolio are from various tales and legends! I’ve chosen to post the story of the goddess Diana turning Actaeon into a stag from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Click the image to enlarge, also the detail below. The original drawing of this is among my largest so far, almost filling a 19×24-inch sheet of bristol, so I went crazy with the cross-hatching.

Detail from “Actaeon and Diana”

I love illustrating stories! The challenge of picking the perfect scene to set the mood for the tale, figuring out which details to include, getting all the “actors” into position. Metamorphoses is our primary source for many of the ancient Greek myths, and many of them are startlingly dark. Because I wanted to keep a dignified, classy feel to this image, I chose the moment right after Actaeon’s transformation, but before his gruesome death.

This is not getting me out of posting a new drawing on my blog this week, which is something I’m determined to keep up! I hope to post a few character studies later this week; last week’s IF drove home how out of practice I am with those. I have a few other drawing projects in the works too. But posting this gives me a bit of a breather while I finish packing up the Christmas decorations and reclaiming the living room this weekend. For my own peace of mind I need to get the house back into shape before I start in on my next big endeavor: redesigning my portfolio website. It will probably include an overhaul of this blog too, so fingers-crossed!

9 thoughts on “Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends

  1. this is cool, the detail of the crosshatching, the colour and composition all work together to make this a great illo! nice work stephanie..

  2. Gorgeous. I like the way you have Diana very subtly drawn in the background. I assume that’s Diana. Well, whoever the heck it is, really very cool!

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