The Selfish Giant: Garden of Winter

This is an illustration depicting the scene of the story where Snow, Frost, Hail and North Wind take over the Giant’s garden after Spring or Summer does not arrive due to his selfishness. I’m very happy with this piece mainly due to the composition which I think is very playful and has a lot of movement and was very fun to come up with. I also played around with different perspectives and was inspired by many of the medieval images I had scene which featured a cut out building effect so you could see inside and outside, something which I think works well with this illustration.
At first I wasn’t sure about the colours of the image as they were so different from the previous illustrations, however they needed to be cold for this scene and so I used some warmer colours for the inside of the castle in order to connect the illustration with the previous ones.

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The Selfish Giant: Scaring the Children

This is an illustration for the scene in ‘The Selfish Giant’ where the Giant discovers the children playing in his garden and scares them and the all run away. I’m very happy with the image, I think the composition worked out very well and I’m pleased with the colour and detail and am particularly happy with the plants in the background.

Wonderland: The End

“Told that they were being moved downstairs
for their safety from unrest and artillery fire in
the city, they complied without question.”

(Rappaport, H. 2009 p. 376)

“there were no tears, no sobs and no questions”

(Radzinsky, E. 1992 p. 336)

The final image for Wonderland is something that I had in mind for a while and the idea was not only to conclude Alice’s story but also the story of the Romanov family as well. I knew a few things I wanted to include such as the opposing sides of the revolution clashing, Alice in the centre of the image to represent the death of the Romanovs as well as their later sainthood, and finally for it to be set in a religious place in order to emphasise the family’s religious nature as well as their sainthood and martyrdom.

Originally I wanted to base the building on the Church of All Saints or Church on the Blood which was built over the area where the Ipatiev House once stood, however this wasn’t working out very well in terms of composition and so I ended up being a more general looking Russian building with onion dome towers. With the composition however I was very inspired by many of the medieval imagery I had been researching throughout the year and I thought that this worked very well for the images. As with many of these images I screen-printed the red before adding detail with ink, watercolour and pencil. In conclusion this image basically sums up the end of the revolution, shown within the terror of the characters and the chaos of the falling building while Alice, a representation of the Romanov family, is at the centre of all of it and is in a position of prayer to illustration the ideas mentioned earlier.

Rappaport, H. (2014). Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses. London, UK: Macmillan

Radzinsky, E. (1992). The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II. Great Britain: BCA

Wonderland: Court of Hearts

“For a nation reading catastrophe into every unfortunate incident in this ill-fated reign it was further proof that the autocracy was doomed”

(Rappaport, H. 2009 p. 92)

As I was working on this project I found it difficult to come up with compositions that were different from the original Alice illustrations by John Tenniel, however as the project progressed I decided that nods to the original illustrations and the iconic images of Alice may work well as it will create a sense of familiarity for audiences. I also became more confident in doing this as I continued my research and realised that it is not only the story of Alice I’m telling but that of the Romanovs as well and so my interpretation of the story will still be fairly original.

This image was created by once again screen-printing all of the red before working back into it with ink, watercolour and pencil. It is a depiction of the trail scene and I decided to include several references to the Russian Revolution such as the opposing sides of the nobility and peasantry, the power of the imperial family and the Romanov double headed eagle which I modified to create a symbol for Wonderland, a double headed flamingo with a heart.

Rappaport, H. (2014). Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses. London, UK: Macmillan

Wonderland: Quadrille

“For their part the crew, who relished the prestige of serving in the Shtandart, loved the four sisters, and found them enchanting.”

(Rappaport, H. 2009 p. 92)

This image is a continuation of the previous scene, this time focusing on the Lobster Quadrille that the Gryphon and Mock Turtle inform Alice of before taking part in it themselves. This scene also continues the previous ideas behind the imagery, the relationships between the Romanov children and their tutors and the sailors aboard the Shtandart.

Rappaport, H. (2014). Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses. London, UK: Macmillan

Wonderland: Mock Turtle’s Story

“The children loved the Shtandart”

(Rappaport, H. 2009 p. 97)

Illustrating the Mock Turtle and Gryphon proved to be very difficult as I really struggled for a way to approach this without simply copying previous interpretations of the scene. As the two characters are the least hostile to Alice in the story and the scene takes place at the sea, I decided to base the Gryphon and Mock Turtle on the sailors and soldiers of the imperial yacht the Shtandart and also one of the Romanov children’s tutors Pierre Gilliard due to the Mock Turtle giving Alice a lesson. I also wanted these images to be more relaxed and open than the previous ones and so focused on the characters and their pose within the composition of the image in order to make the come alive and by contrast kept the backgrounds and surroundings simple.

Rappaport, H. (2014). Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses. London, UK: Macmillan

Wonderland: The Queen and the Duchess

“I dare say you’re wondering why I don’t put my arm round your waist” the Duchess said, after a pause: “the reason is, that I’m doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?”

(Carroll, L. 2009 p. 79)

“The Duchess of Saxe-Coburg was totally exasperated with Alexandra’s endless retreats and non-appearances that season and her daughters’ total lack of experience.”

(Rappaport, H. 2009 p. 210)

This illustration continues the idea of the Romanov family being estranged from the Russian court, as stated in the second quote and shown in Alice’s discomfort. The Duchess in this scene of Alice has a surprisingly predatory nature towards Alice which I also decided to incorporate into this illustration with her looming over Alice’s shoulder and grasping her arm. As well as this a big inspiration behind this image was my reading on the possible marriage prospects that were surrounding the Romanov daughters and I thought that this image could represent not only the gossip surrounding the family in court and the dislike many had for Alexandra, but also the nobility clawing at marriage prospects in order to elevate their social standing. I created this image but once again screen-printing the red before applying watercolour and ink for further colour and then pencil for the detailing.

Carroll, L. and Haughton, H. (2009) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. London: Penguin Books Ltd

Rappaport, H. (2014). Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses. London, UK: Macmillan

Wonderland: Croquet

“The Russian aristocracy remained stubbornly oblivious to the visible unrest gathering”

(Rappaport, H. 2009 p. 207)

As I began to introduce the Court of the Queen of Hearts into my work I felt that it was important to continue the idea of the nobility of Russia being unaware of the oncoming danger of the revolution, something which I set up in the illustrations of the Duchess’s house. I decided that the oblivious nature of the nobility would fit in perfectly with the scene of the croquet game from Alice as it shows how relaxed and leisurely these people are despite all of the chaos happening around them. As for Alice, in this image she represents the entire Romanov family who actually did not spend that much time at court and were often very out of place when they did, reflected here in Alice’s confusion to playing croquet with flamingos and hedgehogs.

Rappaport, H. (2014). Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses. London, UK: Macmillan