(Anyone who caught the Pratchett reference, have a cookie!)
I’m in an exciting phase with my art. I’ve felt a latent unhappiness with aspects of it for several years, and this SmArt School class is such an amazing ride. I’m shaping up my stuff for submission to galleries, I’m learning loads, I’m trying out new things, I’m having my butt kicked by truly remarkable people.
These are small, coaster-sized pieces done using very close reference for the basic figure work and facial structures, but then deviating from them for almost everything else.
Freya, with a peregrine falcon. Watercolour and gouache on Clairefontaine Nuageux paper, 13 cm.
Tears of Isis. Watercolour, gouache and lavish gold leaf on Clairefontaine Nuageux paper, 13 cm.
These little beauties are available from my Etsy shop, readily framed and matted!
“Jenny bowed her head again. For a moment, the rough clang of blade on blade filled her ears. She remembered that noise, and the cry of the dying, atop a high hill beneath a scorching sun. Black armor and a bloody blade. And the battle. Such a battle, one worthy of the world’s ending. And hadn’t it been? The end of a realm, of a world, of a dream…”
Watercolour and gel pen on Fabriano paper, 28×38 cm.
The battle of Camlann – the calm before the storm. From an upcoming novel by Paul Leone, merging a Victorian vampire tale with Arthurian legend.
It’s been a crazy summer, with a lot of unforeseen stuff that ate up my summer holidays completely. This is the only full painting I got done during that time, which is slightly frustrating, but it’s also another bit of proof for my conviction that breaks in your art transform you. Months ago, I resolved to try a softer approach to colouring than the one I had developed over the last four years (not fully intentionally either). I tried it, but it didn’t work – I just slipped back into old habits. Now, after three months with virtually no painting, it was incredibly easy to incorporate new habits. So – the break was a good thing in the end.
Inspired by Claudia Gray’s novel “Bloodline” (which I haven’t read yet – exam marking season), which discloses that, just a few years prior to TFA, Luke Skywalker was travelling the galaxy in search for the first Jedi temple – with Ben Solo.
“Search for the lost temple”
Watercolour on Cotman cold-pressed paper, A4 size.
The chronology majorly messes up some of my headcanons, as does the fact that Rey doesn’t seem to be related to the Skywalker family. I was extremely flattered, though, to read a review of the book that discussed the timeline of events and expressed regret over the fact that “that Jenny Dolfen painting” was now obviously AU. Wow. I mean – wow. I’m pop culture!
“They laid him to rest in the ship with his sword upon his legs; and as he drifted home downstream, there came seven black swans, their trumpet calls guiding him to the Otherworld.”
Some work (loosely) inspired by Arthurian legend that I’ve been wanting to paint for years. The clothes and burial gifts of the warrior are inspired by the Sutton Hoo treasure (as is the build of the ship, though much smaller). Watercolours on Fabriano Grana Fina, 29×39 cm.
Original for sale – contact me if interested!
What he saw…
Watercolour and white gouache on Clairefontaine Etival cold-pressed paper, 25×35 cm.
Commission for Doug, who wanted me to show what Kylo Ren saw when he stood in the deserted cockpit of his father’s ship. An unusual piece for me, with all those darks (and that mechanical…. shtuff!) but I’m really pleased with it. It was a great challenge to portray emotion without seeing any faces at all, just through body language. Of course, watching Adam Driver do just that for most of TFA helped!
People have often asked me why I’ve never drawn Smaug. I think part of the reason is that he’s so iconic that legions of talented people have drawn him, and I’ve never felt the need. But when the thought arose to do a painting that heavily relied on gold leaf, he came to mind immediately.
“Smaug lay, with wings folded like an immeasurable bat, turned partly on one side, so that the hobbit could see his underparts and his long pale belly crusted with gems and fragments of gold from his long lying on his costly bed.”
Watercolour and gold leaf on Clairefontaine Etival cold-pressed paper, 29×40 cm.
This piece combines two of my greatest loves – Star Wars and Art Nouveau. Some very mucha part in me squeed when I saw Rey’s and Kylo Ren’s long-trailing costumes. They were meant for Art Nouveau.
Watercolour and gouache on Clairefontaine Etival cold-pressed paper, 28×39 cm (11×15 in).
Prints here! Original for sale. Contact me if interested!