Children’s book illustrations for the tale “Undine”.

It’s a german fairytale about a water elemental that falls in love with a knight and by loving him (and being loved back) gains a human soul. It’s a quite tragic tale, the couple get married and all goes perfectly happy for a while until the knight starts having feelings for another…

It’s an unsual fairytale, more adult oriented I think. (I don’t always read fairytales so rich in details about human behavior and I’m not sure children would understand what is being represented but… well, we can always simplify things with images.)

Not my usual style, but I had only 2 days (including sleepless nights) to start AND finish 5 illustrations… And I find this simplified style much easier to do. I finished them just in time. =)

greek mythology/myth picspam series » ondine

Ondine was a water nymph. She was very beautiful and, like all nymphs, immortal. However, should she fall in love with a mortal man and bear his child, she would lose her immortality, with no chance of getting it back. Ondine eventually fell in love with a handsome knight, and they got married. When they exchange vows, the knight swore to forever love and be faithful to her. A year after their marriage, Ondine gave birth to his child, and from that moment on, she begins to age. As Ondine’s physical attractiveness diminishes, the knight loses interest in his wife. One afternoon, Ondine was walking near the stables when she heard the familiar snoring of her husband. When she enters the stable, she sees him lying in the arms of another woman. Ondine pointed her finger at him, which he felt as if kicked, waking him up with surprise. Ondine cursed him, stating, “You swore faithfulness to me with every waking breath, and I accepted your oath. So be it. As long as you are awake, you shall have your breath, but should you ever fall asleep, then that breath will be taken from you and not given back, such as what was taken from me.”


Undine and Huldbrand.

…after looking at him for a long while, she became more confident, moved nearer, knelt down before him, and while she played with a gold medal which he wore attached to a rich chain on his breast, exclaimed,

Why, you beautiful, you kind guest! how have you reached our poor cottage at last? Have you been obliged for years and years to wander about the world before you could catch one glimpse of our nook? Do you come out of that wild forest, my beautiful knight?” - Undine, by Friedrich de La Motte-Fouqué

WIP of a picture I’m not sure I’m going to finish. (Huldbrand ended up looking like one of my ocs, I need to fix it. -_-…)