Photo of Wendy and Brian Froud at the Society of Illustrator Lecture in NYC, Oct 2014

Faeries’ Tales and Art Tips from Brian & Wendy Froud

One of the benefits of living in New York City as an artist is having so many art related events at your fingertips. I recently attended a wonderful lecture by Brian and Wendy Froud at the Society of Illustrators.

The lecture was a promotion event for their new book Faeries’ Tales. During the lecture Wendy read out loud from some of the passages of the book and Brian explained about the artwork. The two have a wonderful dynamic and Wendy is excellent at reading out loud. Hearing her voice her own writing added all the more soul to it. If you ever have a chance at attending a lecture with the two I highly recommend it.

Brian Froud explained how he worked on a different direction with the art for this book. The fairies are up close and in your face. He worked on a larger scale than he was used to with the new paintings, which forced him to be more lose which in turned helped him captivate the life of the fairies. Another noticeably about the artwork is the fairies all make eye contact. It makes them seem almost confrontational, but also very captivating.

I’ve long been an avid collector of Brian Froud’s books, so I was incredibly excited to finally have a chance to meet both him and his lovely wife Wendy in person.

Be inspired by your own landscape. Be inspired by things on your own doorstep.`` - Brian Froud

The couple have a long, successful and admirable career behind them and I find there is always so much to learn from those who came before, therefore I wanted to share with you some of the art tips I picked up from them:

Art Tips

  1.  Treat your models well. (This is a lesson Brian Froud picked up from one of his inspirations for the new book: the English painter George Frederic Watts, it’s explained further in detail in the new book)
  2. When creating a book consider the book as a whole, it is a relationship of images. Therefore they need to connect with one another.
  3. When painting you should abandon yourself to the piece and leave control behind. By doing so you create mistakes and good art happens in the mistakes.
  4. When working with distortions make certain that they are meaningful and support what you want to express with your subject.
  5. The medium doesn’t matter, use whatever you need to make ‘it’ happen.
  6. Remember that above all the art has to be truthful.
  7. Be inspired by your own landscape. Be inspired by things on your own doorstep.

Photo of Brian Froud at the Society of Illustrator Lecture in NYC, Oct 2014
Kiri Østergaard Leonard's Signed copy of faeries' Tales by Brian and Wendy Froud

I hope you that you’ll consider picking up their beautiful book, it’s really a piece of art in itself. If you found the review and tips helpful, please share this blog post with your friends!

Kiri Østergaard Leonard
kiri@kirileonard.com

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.

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