This is a piece I did two versions of and was never really happy with it. I think it's interesting enough to share though. It's from a folk tale, but I don't remember which one. If any one thinks this scene looks familiar I'd love to know. I'm putting some finishing touches on a book cover I've been commissioned to do. I've found it really difficult and have put an enormous amount of time into it. I did it in a slightly more realistic style than I normally use. I did this for two reasons, first because it's a book cover I want it to look special and second I felt that a more realistic style suited the book. It's a great book. I've been incredibly fortunate that I've gotten so many great stories to illustrate. I've come to some conclusions about working more realistically. The major conclusion is that the more realistic a picture is the harder it is to be expressive. And the second conclusion is that when working more realistically I should have a tonne of reference material on hand. I'm almost done the cover and I'll post it at some later date. Near the end I thought I never want to do something like this again. When I had a moment to think about I decided that it's a good thing to have in my collection of styles and that I should work harder at it. In the new book Artist To Artist published by Philomel and put out by the Eric Carle Museum Of Picture Book Art there is a quote by Maurice Sendak, He says " Artistic style is a means to an end, and the more styles you have, the better....So, develop a fine style, a fat style, a fairly slim style, and a really rough style."