Posts filed under ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’

We’re all mad here!

Hi everyone and a belated happy new year! We’re starting 2011 out right with more lovely illustrations for Picture Book Report– I do hope you’ll enjoy and continue to read along!

Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(purchase on Amazon)

(click to enlarge)

…when she was a little startled by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.

The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good- natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.

`Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

`I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice.

`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.

The Cheshire Cat is one of the more distinct characters of the book, but I chose to take a little liberty and keep him more playful looking rather than dangerous– based on its speech, he seemed more teasing than toothy lounging about in his tree…



January 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm 4 comments

Serpent! Serpent!

[Apologies are in order– it seems we’ve all had a lot to deal with as of late so posting is not as smooth as I’d want for you dear readers! I’m posting this a day late, as I had a related Alice deadline (can’t show yet though, but I think you’ll like it), and of course a little out of order. (the Pig Baby illustration from last month technically comes after this one. The last illustrations for Alice will all be in order!)

As this year winds to a close and the holiday approaches, it’s likely that we will take a winter vacation in December and see what to do with the project in 2011! Thanks again for staying with us and enjoying our experiment. -meg]

Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(purchase on Amazon)

[click to enlarge]

‘And where HAVE my shoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can’t see you?’ She was moving them about as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little shaking among the distant green leaves.

As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any direction, like a serpent. She had just succeeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be nothing but the tops of the trees under which she had been wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back in a hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was beating her violently with its wings.

Poor Alice; no sooner does she sort out how to stop being three inches tall does she lose sight of her body and get assaulted by a pigeon. No one said Wonderland was easy, I suppose! Of course, with belligerent Queens, Mad Hatters and confusing Cats to come, Alice rather has her work cut out for her.

November 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm 2 comments

‘Rather a handsome pig, I think.’

Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(purchase on Amazon)

[Hopping around a bit here– the next scene I intended to share was with the Pigeon, but due to some computer woes and my move this week, I went a little out of order and am sharing a little scene this time. Next month we ought to be all sorted out with a hopeful bonanza of illustrations, so thanks for bearing with me!]

Alice was just beginning to think to herself, `Now, what am I to do with this creature when I get it home?’ when it grunted again, so violently, that she looked down into its face in some alarm. This time there could be no mistake about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig, and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry it further.

So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. `If it had grown up,’ she said to herself, `it would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.’

The trouble with Alice is that there are just so many scenes I would like to illustrate; I could draw her all day! This scene with the Duchess’ baby was not one of my original line-up, but I just couldn’t resist. Alice encounters the home of the Duchess, populated by frog and fish footmen, an especially violent cook who uses far too much pepper, and a certain Cheshire Cat who will show up again soon.  She winds up taking the baby out of the peppery household to do it some good and hopefully stop its snorting, only to start noticing it has become awfully porcine in the process!
Such is the strangeness of Wonderland; but of course there are still disappearing cats, flamingo croquet and mad parties to encounter. How far-fetched could  a shape-changing infant be in this situation?

October 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm 4 comments

Advice from a Caterpillar.

Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(purchase on Amazon)

(click to enlarge)

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.

Who are YOU? said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation.

So apologies for the out of order posting–this illustration directly precedes last month’s. I’m a little behind schedule but more Alice is always a good thing!

In tackling the scene with the caterpillar, it was very hard not to fall on established imagery for the Caterpillar. (Indeed, I drew a lot of sketches of caterpillars and it took quite a while to come up with its look. The first time I tried including it in the project , which you can sort of see at the lower left here, I made it a little too close in relation to the original Tenniel illustration. Not to mention the scene– Disney of course did a delightful thing with the smoke as letters imagery, and it was tempting to revisit that idea but I decided to nix it in the end. And of course every illustration with the Caterpillar illustrates Alice on her tiptoes peeking up at it, so maybe I’m being a little less traditional here. But I always find this scene kind of interesting, as Alice tries again to make sense of her surroundings and gets very flabbergasted in the process. Even well known rhymes tumble out wrong, perhaps from Wonderland or even perhaps from the smoke. The Caterpillar is a haughty, opinionated creature, and I liked the idea of Alice trying to keep her head afloat both in the conversation and quite literally in the plumes of smoke it spins about her.

But for all its annoyed tone, I don’t really find the Caterpillar to be mean; I don’t think it really cares all that much about her as an entity. In the beginning, it is not unlike the smoke from its hookah– slow, eloquent but a bit rude all the same. But of course where there’s smoke there’s fire, and Alice eventually sets the Caterpillar off by insulting their mutual height of merely three inches.

Next month we’ll be getting back into full color (don’t worry, there will be more illustrations in this palette soon too) and experiencing the after-effects of Alice’s nibbling upon the mushroom. Three inches no longer, but she still manages to ruffle a few feathers in the process! Thanks as always for spending time in Wonderland with us and do check back throughout the week for more scenes from our lovely contributors!

August 9, 2010 at 10:40 am 4 comments

One side will make you grow taller…

Welcome to month six of the Report! Okay, today’s Alice post is a little different. Because of a freelance job that fell into my lap over the weekend, I was only able to complete one of the two illustrations I had planned today (working in the limited palette I’d used earlier in the project). I’m in the middle of drawing the second one (which is the bigger scene, introducing the Caterpillar), but it may not be ready til tomorrow or Wednesday. Still, it’ll be here soon, and below you’ll find an in progress photo of the inking….

Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(purchase on Amazon)

(click to see big)

In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, `One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.’

`One side of what? The other side of what?’ thought Alice to herself.

`Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.

There’s something really fun in bouncing back between loud and quiet scenes and lush and pulled back colors. No matter what though, I find that Alice continually enchants me every time I draw her. Even though she’s not my character technically, she is this funny little creature who keeps pulling me into Wonderland, even the quiet moments like this one. You know she’s going to grow and shrink and do all these crazy things, so it seemed good to pull back and show her mulling over the choice– which side? In drawing this scene, I found myself really loving the drawing itself— I’m thinking about adapting it into a one or two color letterpress print.

In other news, due to schedule issues and wanting to expand the blog a bit, I’m happy to say that we’re going to start having a new feature on Picture Book Report– reader illustrations. There are a lot of talented people out there who love books like we do, and after seeking a few people on Twitter the other day, I got more than 65 responses! So, be on the lookout– when I get illustrations of favorite scenes in, we’ll be sharing them from time to time, especially on those weeks where we don’t have anything planned.

Tomorrow will be a new post from Mister Will Bryant, and hopefully I’ll have my other scene up later this week too! Here’s a teaser in the meantime:

July 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm 5 comments

Alice vs. the Puppy.

Posted by: Meg Hunt

Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (purchase on Amazon)

Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to keep herself from being run over; and the moment she appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was very like having a game of play with a cart-horse, and expecting every moment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at the stick, running a very little way forwards each time and a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the while, till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.

Sticking to a lesser known scene this month, but one of my favorites (even though it was a bit of a pain as a kid playing Alice in Wonderland on my Commodore 64!)– it seems like a good spot to rest on the ridiculousness of Wonderland and a little girl having fun in a potentially dangerous situation. This giant puppy obviously means no threat, but being a giant (or Alice being so little) she could easily get crushed. Still, this is part of what Wonderland is all about– there’s threats of violence, mad people, and tangled logic about, and while often it’s perplexing to our little heroine, she takes it in great stride and always seems to have fun while exploring her topsy turvy environment.

Thanks again for your patience on the posting schedule! I do hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait!

June 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm 3 comments

Poor Bill!

Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(purchase on Amazon)

Happy May, everyone! We’re starting another month of Picture Book Report, aren’t you excited? I know I am….

(this gets a lot bigger, just so you know! I didn’t think about how little it’d look on the blog… needless to say please click it!)

The next stop in Wonderland is the abode of that White Rabbit, and Alice sure doesn’t look too thrilled to be stuck inside!

Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself `Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What will become of me?’…

…She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound of a good many voices all talking together: she made out the words: `Where’s the other ladder?–Why, I hadn’t to bring but one; Bill’s got the other–Bill! fetch it here, lad!–Here, put ’em up at this corner–No, tie ’em together first–they don’t reach half high enough yet–Oh! they’ll do well enough; don’t be particular– Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope–Will the roof bear?–Mind that loose slate–Oh, it’s coming down! Heads below!’ (a loud crash)–`Now, who did that?–It was Bill, I fancy–Who’s to go down the chimney?–Nay, I shan’t! You do it!–That I won’t, then!–Bill’s to go down–Here, Bill! the master says you’re to go down the chimney!’

I picked a moment in this before Alice basically boots the poor lizard Bill– I feel for the little guy. The White Rabbit holds power over some of these animals (whether they’re his employees or just weakwilled is unclear) and Bill winds up being the fall guy in this situation. None of them are thrilled by the concept of a giantess or beast stuck in that house though, so obviously Bill has every right to be afraid! I took some license and made him a chameleon– trying to camouflage himself to hide from the threat of Alice. Of course we all know it doesn’t work, but at least he’s trying!

The White Rabbit’s house was inspired by wooden-cladding houses and sod roofs, though I bet if the Rabbit had his way he’d plant some lettuce and carrots up there. Instead he just waits and watches the clock while Bill sees to his fate. He’s a busy fellow, after all. I’m tempted to revisit this scene as a two part image– the exterior house and then the interior cutaway. Maybe later!

Tomorrow we’ll see a new scene from Will Bryant! Stay tuned!

May 10, 2010 at 2:40 pm 2 comments

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