Thursday, January 31, 2008

Illustration Friday: Tales & Legends + The Found Hearts...

(click on image for a closer look)

Text sourced from here.

For this week of tales and legends, I bring to you the mythological tale of the Princess Savitri, who's extraordinary love, devotion and wit helped her win her husband Satyavan back from Yama, the God of Death (taken from one of the great Indian epics, the Mahabaratha).


To read the whole story, follow the links given below:

For the original Sanskrit text, followed by the English translation go here (It's where the text above is sourced from).

To read Aaron Shepherd's retelling of the story for his picture book 'Savitri - A Tale of Ancient India', go here. ( The entire picturebook complete with doublespread illustrations can also be found on the same page under the link 'picturebook'. The illustrations are very charming and worth checking out even though I must admit I have major issues with the costume/appearance of certain characters! ).

Wikipedia link here.

I'm so glad this is finally up! The minute I read last Friday that this week's topic was 'Tales & Legends', I was sure I wanted to do one from India. After all, it has'nt been called the Land of stories for nothing! :)

Saturday and Sunday were spent reading/looking for an appropriate story. Which means lot's of searching on the internet and trying to remember stories I've heard as a kid. The number of stories/mythological tales I've read for this topic! Some I remembered from childhood, some I read for the first time and some I learnt more about.

Finally I settled on the story of Savitri & Satyavan and began to draw late Monday. Was still working on it on Tuesday when I got a freelance illustration project, due Wednesday! Met deadline and resumed working on the Savitri story illustration late Wednesday. Completed the illustration about an hour or so ago
today (Thurday). And it is a big deal cos' whenever I've not been actually drawing/colouring this illustration this past week, I've been thinking I should be drawing/colouring it so I could finish and post it before Friday!!

And so I have! Phew!

Ok. End of raving.

On a different note, I have another more personal story to share as well.

Yesterday I was out walking my dog. I walk my dog everyday in the evening and as is the norm (for me) on such walks, as I was walking I was also thinking about my list of things to do, generally letting my mind wander etc. when totally out of the blue I was thinking of Kelly Rae's blog. And more specifically about
the pictures of heart's that she finds in various locations and documents on her blog.

The weirdest part was I wasn't thinking about anything related to blogs or hearts or even remotely connected to Kelly when I remembered this.

Once I'd got the thought in my head though, I started wondering if that were possible, or rather how impossible it seemed to find a heart in a natural setting more than once, over and over - in fact almost one after another. It seemed downright impossible.

I'm still wondering how she finds them when I also start wondering whether I would find one if I looked. One part of me immediately scoff's at the very notion of going around looking for
anyhting remotely 'heart-shaped' in my immediate surrounding, but another more curious part of me immediately starts looking around.

And within the next 5 secs, my eyes fell on this,

Do you see it? Do you?! The little white heart?

The minute I saw it I dismissed the possibility. I mean, it could'nt be a heart. I was probably just seeing things. I had'nt even been looking seriously! But the next minute I picked it up and carried it all the way home. I hav'nt felt that excited in a long while.

Wait. There's more.

Today evening I took Leo out for a walk again. As usual. But today I was in a hurry to get back home so we were almost halfway through our usual route around the neighbourhood before I remembered the stone heart.

Could I possibly find one today? Part of me knew the probability of finding one was next to nil. But once I'd remembered it I could'nt help but keep an eye out for it. I almost dared myself to find one, but at the same time fully expected to not find anyhting.

Am I making sense? :D

We were about 5 mins away from home when I gave up. I was htnking to myself, things just don't work that way.

And then I saw it.

And I'd picked it up well before I realized what it was.


What does it mean I wonder? Just serendipity or beginner's luck? A message fromm the universe on the lines of 'She who looketh, findeth'? Nothing is imposiible?


All I know is that it's been fun and exciting to find them and I felt like sharing! I'm going to keep looking whenever I go out now and even though the probability of finding one three days in a row is pretty dim, who knows really?


A huge thanks to Kelly Rae for the inspiration!


Update: I was in such a hurry to post this that the link to this page from Illo Fri reads 'Ratlionra'! And quite appropriately, Savitri from the thumbnail appears to be looking at the typo in dismay! :D


Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Great illustration, and really fun post to read!!!


There's another heart for you! If you tip your head to the right...

badly drawn girl said...

Beautiful illustration. I love Indian inspired art.

Crystal said...

This illustration is beautful and the story was very interesting. I really love the bright colors, one of my absolute favorite things about the Indian culture (and if I read it right, the story is a tale of ancient India)

jade said...

after all the discussions finally u got the illo to ur satisfaction i think :D btw, did u realise the syle of clothes u drew is what we see in ramayana on TV when ram and sita are in exile? these two cud be ram and sita if u change the situation.. Ref: image of narada portrayed on tv series..funny how we r influenced so much since its the only exposure we hv had to mythology...
-- shobz..

Ratlion said...

Which is why I also relied on info like below found through hours of search online regarding clothing etc.

The principle article of the Indian dress in the vedic age was a long piece of cloth plain of dyed, often with fringes and borders. This was girded round the loins and tied at the waist either in front or on the sides with artistic knots elaborate frills and crinkles displaying the gorgeous border. The border formed a distinctive part of the fabric. The waist cloth was sometimes put on in the form of a divided skirt a vogue confined to the men. The other end of the cloth, which was not displayed, had a shorter and plainer border. The other end of the cloth, which was not displayed, had a shorter and plainer border. The word 'Nivi' was used; to describe the women's lower garment and ancient writings have referred specifically to the ornamental tassels border and to know what held the garment in place. The bosom and shoulders were covered by another separate garment which was either a loose wrap consisting of an ample scarf of light texture. This scarf was drawn across on cross-wise over the bust and tied at the back, to serve as a bodice or was even a short and tight tailor-made jacket, e.g.: 'KANCHOLIKA'; 'KURPASEKA'; and STANDANSUKA (a covering for the breast). This was worn with a shawl or an additional "Raimant" covering it.


ms. froggie said...

WOW!!! that couple! the melt into each other tragic dreamy couple! that's gorgeous illustrating, radha! wonderful colors and tone. just beautiful and very mythic looking.
and i really like the way you are composing here...reminds me very much of old disney cells, with those beautiful layered drops, one after another. but mr indigo...he scares me a bit. maybe it's the noose?

sketched out said...

Wow, what a fantastic post. The illustration is gorgeous and the legend fascinating!

I want you to know that I am passing the "You Make My Day" award to you. Because I love your blog and your art and you do make my day.

Details on my blog. Cheers!

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