Difficult dogs

Cardigan-ish Corgi (lower sketch)

Alex has requested a “corgis by moonlight” calendar some month, and I’m not saying dogs aren’t fairy-tale standards, but even the usual suspects aren’t easy to draw in a way that look as poetic as they sound. There’s a lovely literal/metaphorical interplay in some fairy tales, and illustrations can sometimes pin that too clearly to one interpretation. (Eyes as big as saucers, I’m looking at you.)

In Juliet Marillier’s Mother Thorn, where “Copper, Silver, Gold” takes the story of “The Tinderbox” as its starting point, we kind of elided the specifics of the dogs’ eyes for the illustrations — that visual element of canine body horror was not what the story needed or was about.

A very small dog detail from inside Mother Thorn

And while interchangeable canids (like interchangeable equines) rely on generalities, corgis, like donkeys, require specifics (even if it’s just to suggest corgi-kind).

And of course, even among corgis, there are variations.

Pembroke-ish Corgi, to accompany the art for Laurie Marks’ rather splendid Elemental Logic quartet