Sunday, October 25, 2009

Steampunk Hansel & Gretel by Donglu Yu

Last Hansel & Gretel post of the week...
I (almost) guarantee it!

I found this steampunk Hansel and Gretel by Montreal artist Donglu Yu a while back when I was researching 'the best steampunk fairy tale illustrations on the web' (see HERE for the last of three posts, which also links to the previous ones) and didn't include it because it didn't really catch my eye as representing Hansel and Gretel very well at the time.

I've since found the artist's overview of her painting from concept to final and I can appreciate the art - and her interpretation of the tale - far more now. I missed some important ones on my first few viewings. I didn't even see the witch up in her lofty room stirring the pot at first.

I'm hoping by showing you some of the development you'll come to appreciate her vision of the story as I have.When you realize what's in the details, this piece becomes very interesting and it's clear why Donglu's work has been recognized by an elite group of digital artists.She and her artist fiancé were featured in the prestigious digital art publication Exposé (7) this year in June (see article HERE), along with a very nice print of Donglu Yu's steampunk Hansel and Gretel (it has better contrast than most copies of this piece I've seen on the web, so the details are more noticeable).From introduction to the artist's project overview:
This is my great pleasure to discuss about the creation process for my latest work “Hansel and Gretel”. This image is originally created for the Steampunk Challenge hosted by CG Society. Right from the beginning, I had the intention of making a whimsical image which can remind us certain magic moments that the old folklores and fairy tales have brought us during our childhood. Hansel and Gretel has been one of my favorite bedtime stories: I can still remember how I was imagining those two little kids walking through the forest to arrive at the witch’s house which is deliciously decorated with all kind of confections. I want to recreate that feel of wonder that I have experienced longtime ago with the proper visual language.
Here's the final image, which I've saved till after the other details so hopefully you'll be able to appreciate it as I do now. (Click to enlarge)You can see a MUCH larger version HERE, which will zoom you in on all the details but you'll probably need to scroll up and down to see the whole piece, so you don't the impression of the story as you do from the smaller version shown above from the Exposé 7 article.

You can see many more development pictures and read about her process on this project HERE. The project is shown step by step, almost as a tutorial, though not quite. I'm so glad the artist decided to share!
You can see a lot more of her work HERE at her online portfolio with the CG Society and in this excellent interview, in which she talks about her process HERE. I look forward to seeing more of Donglu Yu's work in future.
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