07/25/14 By Kristen Rock
"One day the grandmother presented the little girl with a red velvet riding hood; and as it fitted her very well, she would never wear anything else; and so she was called Little Red Riding Hood."
-The Grimm brothers, Grimm's Fairy Tales
I was first introduced to fairy tales when my Grandma bought me a vhs copy of The Little Mermaid. I was hooked. (Maybe that's why even today I love all things mermaid?) Next on my princess journey I met Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Pocahontas—could movies get any better?!
What I didn't realize until I was much older was that these movies were based on a much darker stories told by the Brother's Grimm circa 1812. It's intriguing to delve into Grimm's tales after growing up on the Disney versions. There's something wonderful about having a "fresh" spin on a story you thought you knew so well. And maybe it's just human nature to wonder about "the dark side" of fairy tales.
In the book, How To Draw Grimm's Dark Tales, Fables & Folklore, the author goes through several of our most loved tales and illustrates what the Brother's Grimm put in writing so long ago. The castles are more ominous. The apple really does look poisonous. The skies are eery. And there is no doubt that there is magic in these stories.
The author builds the prophetic illustrations step by step. No matter which version of the classic tales you prefer, learning to draw a mystical portrait is just plain cool.
Which fairy tale hero/heroine would you like to draw?
Kristen is an artist living in Norfolk, VA. She is happiest with a cup of coffee in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. A sucker for a sweet sunrise and an unexpected adventure, Kristen's latest inspirations include mermaids, dream catchers, and all things nautical.
An empty canvas is a living wonder, far lovelier than certain pictures.
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