hook faerie tale feet painting framed.jpg

"the rest of me."

faerie tale feet painting inspired by captain hook of j.m. barrie's peter pan.

"i have often," said smee, "noticed your strange dread of crocodiles."

"not of crocodiles," hook corrected him, "but of that one crocodile."  he lowered his voice.  "it liked my arm so much, smee, that it has followed me ever since, from sea to sea and from land to land, licking its lips for the rest of me."

"in a way," said smee, "it's a sort of compliment."

"i want no such compliments," hook barked petulantly.  "i want peter pan, who first gave the brute its taste for me."

yes, it's true.  this is the fourth neverland character i've painted in the faerie tale feet series, and can you blame me?  :)  a collector wanted a companion piece to their "i do believe in fairies!" tinker bell piece, and i couldn't resist painting the world's most favourite villain in a swash of brownish purples and reds.  i LOVE how this one turned out!!

have a look at the painting process below, and then i'll share all the story elements i hid in icon form in that background pattern.

 of course whenever i start a new faerie tale feet piece, i go back to the original source.  so once more to the task of reading peter pan.  this copy was also the one i took notes in for both wendy and tinker bell's paintings, too, so the owner of the original painting gets to keep it!  so i go through, marking meaningful (or fun) quotes relevant to our character in the spotlight, and underlining and circling imagery that could work in our background pattern.

of course whenever i start a new faerie tale feet piece, i go back to the original source.  so once more to the task of reading peter pan.  this copy was also the one i took notes in for both wendy and tinker bell's paintings, too, so the owner of the original painting gets to keep it!  so i go through, marking meaningful (or fun) quotes relevant to our character in the spotlight, and underlining and circling imagery that could work in our background pattern.

 once i've done my original-tome research, i'll usually head to all the adaptations i can find for inspiration and brain-stirring ideas.  so i'll sketch those elements i wrote down in my moleskin that might make it into the final piece.  here, searching for the perfect jolly roger silhouette, peter's shadow, the hat, some mermaids, his hook, and the jolly roger flag!

once i've done my original-tome research, i'll usually head to all the adaptations i can find for inspiration and brain-stirring ideas.  so i'll sketch those elements i wrote down in my moleskin that might make it into the final piece.  here, searching for the perfect jolly roger silhouette, peter's shadow, the hat, some mermaids, his hook, and the jolly roger flag!

 i had a lot of wild ideas for the layout of this piece, but "edited" it down to our crocodile waiting for hook's final plunge from the plank.  i grounded the composition with skull rock and some more of neverland to the left-- the indian encampment and the lost boy's palm trees encircling their home below the ground.

i had a lot of wild ideas for the layout of this piece, but "edited" it down to our crocodile waiting for hook's final plunge from the plank.  i grounded the composition with skull rock and some more of neverland to the left-- the indian encampment and the lost boy's palm trees encircling their home below the ground.

 after my layout is finalized, i photocopy the story icon silhouettes from my sketchbook to the scale i want them....

after my layout is finalized, i photocopy the story icon silhouettes from my sketchbook to the scale i want them....

 ... and then fill in the background tracing them to keep them consistent!

... and then fill in the background tracing them to keep them consistent!

 after the background pattern is complete, i tape it on top of my illustration board and RE-trace it all by hand with transfer paper in between.  that gave me these graphite lines to paint around!

after the background pattern is complete, i tape it on top of my illustration board and RE-trace it all by hand with transfer paper in between.  that gave me these graphite lines to paint around!

 so i always fill in the whole background with one solid colour of gouache first-- i adore how this purple turned out.  i mixed windsor & newton perylene violet, red ochre, brilliant purple, and ultramarine.  i have to the do the background around all the shapes in ONE sitting so the gouache dries evenly.  it takes 5-7 hours to paint around all our story icons and figure.

so i always fill in the whole background with one solid colour of gouache first-- i adore how this purple turned out.  i mixed windsor & newton perylene violet, red ochre, brilliant purple, and ultramarine.  i have to the do the background around all the shapes in ONE sitting so the gouache dries evenly.  it takes 5-7 hours to paint around all our story icons and figure.

 still filling in that background colour!  i left the crocodile free of the purple because i wanted to re-do all the shapes in his silhouette in their corresponding greens.  open wide, miss crocodile!  

still filling in that background colour!  i left the crocodile free of the purple because i wanted to re-do all the shapes in his silhouette in their corresponding greens.  open wide, miss crocodile!  

 here i've started filling in the story icons in the background.  i mixed twenty or more shades of purples and reds to fill in our icons.  lots of details.  because it's all in the details.  and it's all details!  :)  

here i've started filling in the story icons in the background.  i mixed twenty or more shades of purples and reds to fill in our icons.  lots of details.  because it's all in the details.  and it's all details!  :)  

 here, our background AND crocodile have been filled in with lots and lots of shades of gouache!

here, our background AND crocodile have been filled in with lots and lots of shades of gouache!

 for hook's figure and hat, i started with light layers of wash to give them some dimension so they'd stick out from the solid-paint-filled background.

for hook's figure and hat, i started with light layers of wash to give them some dimension so they'd stick out from the solid-paint-filled background.

 i really love the details on his hat-- blowing in the breeze-- and am really grateful for my magnifying lamp!  :)  i loooove painting feathers, too!  ;)  

i really love the details on his hat-- blowing in the breeze-- and am really grateful for my magnifying lamp!  :)  i loooove painting feathers, too!  ;)  

so we did it!

villainy stands tall to the end.  :)

so here's what we hid in the background:

  • neverland mermaids
  • the pirate ship
  • tiger lily
  • the jolly roger flag
  • peter's taunting shadow
  • hook's right hand (er, hook)
  • pirate scabbard
  • smee's spectacles
  • poison bottle (the 5 drops he put in peter's medicine cup)
  • forget-me-nots (his eyes were the same colour blue, plus, hook loved flowers)
  • codfish ("have we been captained all this time by a codfish?!")
  • his double-cigar holder (so elegant)
  • the alarm clock ("the way you got the time on the island was to find the crocodile, and then stay near him till the clock struck.")
  • mushroom chimney of the lost boys' home under the ground
  • the lantern (so seek out the doodle-do on board)
  • the large, rich cake with green sugar hook tried to poison the lost boys with, but wendy kept taking it away, and it got so stale hook eventually tripped & fell over it in the dark.
  • the compass rose

i hope you love it as much i do.

as it was a commission/special request, the original painting has sold, but you can collect limited edition signed prints HERE in my etsy shoppe!

& be sure to complete your NEVERLAND collection with peter, wendy, & tink, too!!  ;)

and i'll leave you with some great hook book quotes cuz there are just so many from the book:

  • His eyes were of the blue of the forget-me-not, and of a profound melancholy, save when he was purging his hood into you, at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly.  in manner, something of the grand seigneur still clung to him, so that he even ripped you up with an air, and I have been told that he was a raconteur of repute.
  • It is quite impossible to say how time does wear on in the Neverland, where it is calculated by moons and suns, and there are ever so many more of them than on the mainland.
  • "The game's up," he cried, "those boys have found a mother."
  • "Bad form," he cried jeeringly, and went content to the crocodile.