This painting is a re-imagining of The Frog Prince, the fairytale notably penned by the Brothers Grimm. I wanted to take a series of fairytales and explore some of the characters, messages and themes of each story. I didn't want to be too constrained by any particular version of the tale, so instead I focused on major elements and the essence of the story as I interpreted it.
In this piece I wanted to explore the Frog Prince's feelings about his 'grotesque' appearance. I pictured a creature, half man half frog, sitting on a hollow tree stump throne, a moss covered, wooden crown atop his head, hidden away from the world in a forest or swamp somewhere.
I choose the Frog Prince as the first piece in this series just because there's something very identifiable about the character. The creature is perhaps not quite what he appears to be, and despite the magical, fantastical nature of the story there's something inherently human at its core.
I did countless studies of trees, moss, mushrooms and foliage, as well as studying the anatomy of frogs. I wanted to put him in a rich, believable environment that was befitting of a 'frog prince': regal and yet taken over by nature (much like the Prince himself). I also wanted to be able to create a frog/human hybrid that looked functional and possible (to a point).
I usual paint with watercolours and acrylics in equal measure, but in this piece I used watercolour very sparingly. Acrylics allowed me to have darker values and stronger, more vivid colours. I mainly used watercolour for some of the more subtle details on the Prince's skin.
Acrylic and Watercolour