Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 21: 10-Word Love Story

The bonus for this prompt was to illustrate your 10-word love story, and I guess I was... inspired, this evening. Because I still wanted this prompt to connect to a book, I chose 'The Dream Hunters' by Neil Gaiman. Apparently this story is available in a couple versions, including a graphic novel, but the copy I have is more like a children's storybook, with illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano. If you've never seen his work, you should google him, and while you're at it add 'dreamhunters' so you can see his pictures for this story.
The author wrote the very popular Sandman series of graphic novels, of which I'm also a fan. This is technically a part of that and the Sandman, Morpheus, does play a pivotal role in the tale, but it stands alone beautifully so don't be scared off if you're not familiar with the series.
There's several plots here to give you everything you could want in a classic fairytale: Trickery, love, monsters, a quest, revenge, hard justice and a bittersweet ending. It's not a story for the kids, unless they're the kind of kids who also get to read Grimm's fairy tales the way they were originally written.
At the core, this is a love story, between a fox (possibly a kitsune?) and a Buddhist priest, which takes place in both the waking world and in dreams. The Dream King grants help to them both in turn, while pointing out their love is unlikely to have a happy ending.
It doesn't, I'm warning you now, this is not a cheerful book. At the end it's hinted that they still find love together, in their way.
This is a gorgeous book, both the story and the illustrations, which I tried to mimic the style of in my own work. These paintings are watercolors, a couple of 4x6" pieces on cardstock. This marks the first time I've gotten any success out of using salt with watercolors! I did add some pencil for details on both pictures.

Lives sacrificed for love may yet be joined in dreams.

My own artwork of the lovers reunited against Yoshitaka Amano's illustration of part of their struggle.


  1. Thanks! The original illustrations are so gorgeous, I was inspired.