The Old Lion


After a long wait, I chose the old lion fable to illustrate. But I yet again fail to do the fable justice. My over complicated design idea and fondness for that white line has overwhelmed the image and left it looking not so great. I used some computer added shading to put the two characters in a little more context, but I do it every time, I just over do it!

The old lion’s head rested on the path leading into his cave, the faint tracks of the doomed animals in the soil and the fox’s reluctant stance — I cobbled this image together using the same materials, watercolour, pigment, ink and coffee.

I need to get in more practice on simpler subject matter before conquering another Aesop so it may be sometime before I have a collection I am happy with, but hopefully it will be worth it. I like the lion’s face though, I’m pleased with him!

A Lion, enfeebled by age and no longer able to procure food for himself by force, determined to do so by cunning. Betaking himself to a cave, he lay down inside and feigned to be sick: and whenever any of the other animals entered to inquire after his health, he sprang upon them and devoured them. Many lost their lives in this way, till one day a Fox called at the cave, and, having a suspicion of the truth, addressed the Lion from outside instead of going in, and asked him how he did. He replied that he was in a very bad way: ‘But,’ said he, ‘why do you stand outside? Pray come in.’ ‘I should have done so,’ answered the Fox, ‘if I hadn’t noticed that all the footprints point towards the cave and none the other way.’

The Wolf and the Crane

The Wolf and the Crane involves a delicate procedure where a crane attempts to remove a bone from a wolf’s throat. Using coffee, watercolour and a touch of white pigment I came up with two slightly different compositions. I have used the common crane in the first illustration and the sandhill crane for the second due to the geographical compatibility, which I shouldn’t probably take any notice of since this is an Aesop’s fable, never mind!

My second attempt is probably the one I prefer, I enjoy the subtle detail of animals faces, plus I bought some different pens which are waterproof so I don’t have to wait a few hours for the ink to dry, resulting in less Skyrim time in between drying…

A Wolf once got a bone stuck in his throat. So he went to a Crane and begged her to put her long bill down his throat and pull it out. “I’ll make it worth your while,” he added. The Crane did as she was asked, and got the bone out quite easily. The Wolf thanked her warmly, and was just turning away, when she cried, “What about that fee of mine?” “Well, what about it?” snapped the Wolf, baring his teeth as he spoke; “you can go about boasting that you once put your head into a Wolf’s mouth and didn’t get it bitten off. What more do you want?