This is a piece Hannah did, and is the first piece of work I took inspiration from in our swaps. Her use of varying thicknesses of black line on the white background is striking and effective as an illustration depicting the scene in Waterhouse's painting. I could imagine this appearing on a poster or flyer about the nymphs.
Here is my response from Hannah's piece. I kept the black and white theme initially, using ink pen on white paper, before I added coloured pencil to a copy. Like Hannah's use of minimal features, I left the nymphs faceless, focusing instead on their hair and figures. The hair was initially intended to appear like the waves of the water, but in the finished piece they appear to be floating in air rather than water; ghost like rather than sirens? The lack of facial features makes the nymphs more menacing, and more like objects; as Hylas views them as objects of desire.
Above are two examples of Bryony's responses. We all naturally seemed to become fond of the use of lines in the hair. It creates a sense of the hair flowing, and links to the idea of water. Visually, it is overwhelming, linking to how Hylas and the nymphs' other victims relate to with the sensation of drowning in the water.
I wanted to focus more on the faces of the nymphs. Instead of looking at the faces in the painting, I based this face on Marion Cotillard. This is because I was struggling to capture the features of Waterhouse's nymphs and studying their features became counterproductive. Also, when I imagine a nymph (i.e. enchanting faces) she is one of the first people who came to mind looks-wise. I used 2b pencil and ink pen, then photocopied the original and added watercolour.
After studying the nymphs I decided to focus more on their environment and how I could explore that visually. The nymphs are 'children of nature' and in the painting are surrounded by lily pads, trees and flowers. My studies of these flowers evolved from a sketch I did of some flowers in a park. In the first example I created a 'flower bed', which Bryony elaborated on in her own piece:
Although the difference in our drawing styles is evident, i think the simple addition of Bryony's nymphs gives the odd bundle of flowers a place, giving the nymphs a platform for the iconic figures they are.
Hannah's translucent use of watercolour in this piece is dreamlike and adds to the tranquil atmosphere of the image. My first thoughts when looking at it was that it would make a brilliant design for a stained glass window.
In turn, I added to this piece with watercolour. It is not meant to be a literal background; more like a suggestion of their environment. I think the watercolour became too overwhelming. I needed to use more of a light suggestion of colour rather than drowning the image with it. I think the line drawing Bryony created is far more effective and is more appealing as a simple piece, like a small book illustration.