This illustration is for the fairytale in which the last task set for the hero is to determine which of three shrouded figures is the princess – the other two being dragons. Along his journey, he had aided a hive of bees. Since the princess liked honey, they hovered about her and so he was able to solve the problem.

I like the idea of this otherwise undescribed princess, familiar of bees and dragons, and that single touch of detail – that she loved honey – which makes her a little more human than so many other princesses (Snow White who… wasn’t good at bartering? Sleeping Beauty who couldn’t spin…) This princess’ sweet tooth is neither a virtue nor a situation – just a detail, and yet a point on which the plot turns. And I wonder how she and the hero would get along once they finally met – he so humble and kind to all living things, she unfazed by dragons and beloved of bees.

Illustration Friday: Puzzled

In other news: A very pleasant evening, this evening. Friends came over and there were candles, writing, chalkboard lettering, roast chestnuts, hot milk with honey and spices and a short remedial course on digitally editing line work which I am sure everyone who is waiting to receive illustrations from me is very glad to hear has taken place.