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Ivan and the Chestnut Horse by fresco-child Ivan and the Chestnut Horse by fresco-child
After sifting through a book on Edmund Dulacís fairytale illustrations nearly two years ago, I came across his beautiful rendition of the Russian folk tale ĎIvan and the Chestnut Horseí. Dulacís image, rendered in a style strongly reminiscent of Russian iconography, depicts the climactic moment when Ivan prompts his steed to fly to the extremity of Helena the Fairís tower and the couple share a kiss [link] I am naturally drawn to historical romances, so it was no doubt that Ivan and the Chestnut Horse would catch my immediate interest. The story recognizes several interwoven themes of love, loyalty, responsibility and above all, intuition. You have a son struggling to fulfill the dying wishes of his father, a demeaning set of arrogant brothers and a princess who wills her own captivity so that she might become the prize to a bridegroom who accepts the challenge of liberating her.

I sought to combine all these narrative elements into a single illustration that made exclusive use of negative shapes. I turned to optical illusion as an ideal form of visual communication. By juxtaposing the royal couple with the silhouette of a horse in profile, I learned the importance of balancing value and creating colour associations. Plenty of my research was devoted to accurately representing the elaborate clothing from the age of Russian Imperialism. I sense that the greater part of my work in the future will deal with the history and folklore of world cultures. In recent years Iíve enjoyed studying the histories of various countries, notably Italy, England, Poland and Russia.

Two part reading of 'Ivan and the Chestnut Horse':
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CKyHC Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
интересно :3
PaulBaack Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Absolutely lovely.
akitku Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really like has a wonderfully Byzantine style to it.
Charanty Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011
Sounds like much like Sivka-Burka but i guess they couldn't find a suitable colour for the horse in English.
CaveLupa Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
So much amazing detail and great texture mixes! :love:
pondie Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011
This is so beautiful! You capture the ideas so well, and there is such beauty and detail! Amazing!
fresco-child Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for the sweet compliment :)
Liralicia Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
This is really beautiful. I love it
Daaakota Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2011
Oh, so gorgeous.
fresco-child Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you everyone :D. Look! I've since given the male character an imperial mustache to fit the theme.
The-Wrong-Words Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011
Alright, so thats awesome. Nice work.
Miko-M Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011
oh cool you told me about this! the colour palette is very nice, and I enjoy the paint texture on the face.
JoriB Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yowza!! Beautiful. Is this what you did with your reading week? Great form and that bit of lighting on the arm. Lighting on patterned surfaces is nuts hard.
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Submitted on
March 8, 2011
Image Size
5.5 MB


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