3. Illustrating Fables and Legends

Painters have been doing this for ever - from cave painters to artists at the end of the 20th Century. Sadly there is little of it today but... this gives the versatile and patient painter an excellent chance to fill the gap!

To understand the importance of such paintings as Gerome's 'Police Verso', shown above, one only needs to understand that the whole visual feel and detail of the very successful 'Gladiators' movie was, according to the director Ridley Scott, based entirely around such 1890's work. It is a shame Gerome is not around to claim his legacy. Someone who was however is H R Giger whose paintings and drawings were the inspiration for Scott's 'Alien' movies. These works in turn related back to Goya and Blake's 19th century gothic works. 

Others might include:

  • Any Shakespearean theme 
  • St. George and the Dragon 
  • The Pied Piper 
  • The Homeric Epics 
  • The Old Man and the Sea. 
  • Any of the Myths of the Gods.
You should look toward your imagination and try and paint such paintings or perhaps marrying such legends (St.George) to modern events as allegories as I have done with 'Perils of a Chemical Life' below. It is good practice to be working on one or two of such paintings in the background to your usual commissioned or current work. 

Beauty and the Beast (48"x48")

Thor God of Thunder (48"x48")

'Perils of a Chemical Life'(48"x48") - This is a modern day allegory based on the St.George theme where the knight attempts to rescue the heroin stricken maiden who appears as both the serpent and the girl.

Even though this type of painting appears, a first glance, attractive to only a small market the painter should always remember the first rule of selling a painting: that is to produce a painting for the one person who cannot live without and not to paint for that 99 out of 100 people who will think it is OK. This happens regularly as galleries are often seduced to hang bland, mediocre works always attractive for the widest possible range of people. Serious collectors however always favor the definitive, unique work that has obvious craft and value.
Should you need to appeal to wider audience this should be done with smaller works with affordable prices rather than quicker large paintings. Remember your small purchaser today will become your collector of tomorrow, so always have some smaller works priced accordingly at any showing.

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