//Artistic Growth: The Making of Morgan Le Fay

Artistic Growth: The Making of Morgan Le Fay

By |2018-04-25T11:40:02+00:00January 3rd, 2013|Categories: Archive|Tags: |0 Comments
Unfinished painting of an ugly elven looking woman with brilliant blue eyes.

“Time is an important aspect of learning. Be patient.”

In early 2011 I began a piece I (not so originally) called ‘Fairy’ – I had an idea of an alien looking woman staring into the vast emptiness with a slightly lost look on her face. Her main feature was to be her brilliant blue eyes. I started the piece and I had fun with it for a little while but then I got incredibly frustrated because I was unable to transfer the image in my head onto the Wacom tablet.

A year later I was looking through my folder of pieces from 2011 and found the abandoned file. I decided to pick up on it again and see if I could make something of it. I felt inspired by an old German Oil Painting by Christian Seybold (1695-1768) – a portrait of an old woman.

Beautiful Painting of old woman with rosy cheeks

Alte Frau by Christian Seybold (1695-1768)

I made the “fairy” into an old Avalon priestess instead and made it more of a portrait study. Although there was some improvement I was still struggling a lot, I just couldn’t get the face proportions correct despite multiple references so I ended up abandoning the piece again. At least for a while.

Four months later I was working on my Trollkin calendar project. I was on a deadline to finish it before Christmas, so I was looking for ways to get a great piece finished that I could be proud to put in the calendar.

This was when I came across the abandoned piece once more. I decided to go back to the original image size instead of a mere portrait, and this time – despite the struggle, I worked my way through the tough hurdles. My lovely husband helped me take some new reference images for the piece and after a couple of weeks of working, I finally managed to finish it.

Early stage of the Avalon Priestess.

Early stage of the Avalon Priestess.

When comparing the two pieces, I can see how much I learned from 2011 to 2012. I hope that 2013 will be as good a year as 2012 and that in a year from now my artwork will have made the same leap.

It can be incredibly discouraging when your artwork does not match up to your own expectations, but it is also very rewarding when you can look back and see that you have improved, it makes it all worth it. So don’t give up if you are having a really hard time with something you are working on, just put it aside for now and pick it up later.

“It can be incredibly discouraging when your artwork does not match up to your own expectations, but it is also very rewarding when you can look back and see that you have improved, it makes it all worth it.”

Portrait of Morgaine, also known as Morgan Le Fay, sister of King Arthur, queen of Fairies. Artwork by Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2012. See more at: KiriLeonard.com

About the Author:

Award-winning Illustrator, Artist, and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily share her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in the Kingdom of 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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