For four years now, on a very dear friend's birthday, I have given her a page of a growing story. It is about her and, thus far, a gryphon she befriends. (They're also spelled griffin, or griffon, but I like the way the first spelling looks)
The first one of these I did was before I would have considered myself an illustrator at all, or was doing much professional illustration work. Now, to whatever extent that I even think the titles of artist or illustrator are separate, I happily embrace it, so it's interesting to look back on these.
Usually done in watercolor, this latest was in the middle of a number of deadlines so I begrudgingly did it digitally.
Chaper 1: In which Stasya meets the Gryphon and offers him a pear.
(This one is still my favorite, even being the oldest. There's something in the subdued ferocity of the gryphon, intimidated perhaps by the equal fearlessness of the girl, that I've yet to recapture completely).
Chapter 2: In which Stasya reads to the Gryphon and they fall asleep under starlight.
(This is when I realized I was actually making a series).
Chapter 3: In which the Gryphon unexpectedly takes flight.
Chapter 4: In which Stasya, not one to wait around for the whims of flying creatures, finds a boat and begins her own journey.
(Interesting how much my colors changed, and the environment became so much more substantial. I think this is a direct product of the digital approach. It also takes a huge compositional departure without the Gryphon dominating the scene, but to tell the girl Stasya's story he had to leave, at least for awhile.)
The next chapter, if I'm more on time than I was this past birthday, will be posted in November.