This painting is based on the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and is part of my Fairytale Series.
The tale originated as a folktale and has been adapted and retold countless times. In the most commonly known version the tale charts the arrival of a mysterious piper who promises to rid the town of Hamelin from rats with the use of his pipe. When the town refuses to pay the Piper however, he uses his pipe to lure the town's children away, presumably to punish the townsfolk.
I had the idea of rats swarming around the Piper's feet, and even climbing up his legs. I wanted the swarm to appear as one large mass; the rats only clear after a second glance. I kept the values dark and focused on building up the mid tones and adding some subtle highlights to give the swarm form and volume.
I loved the mystery surrounding the character, and that really drives this painting. I drew a lot of inspiration from various classical depictions of the character.
Acrylic and Watercolour