building joseph’s village for ‘the soldier’s tale’

Here are images of the scene in progress. I should get it finished this evening. I’m aiming for a Regency toy theatre feel, though with a European slant. Once again I’ve been plundering my stash of wooden building-blocks as source material for this, and as they’re all made in Germany, they bring their own ‘character’ to the endeavour.

Oil pastel is pleasingly messy to work with, and gives the interesting sense of being both painted and drawn.

I start off with the farmyard at left being fenced along its front edge …

… but re-work that when it turns out to be too fussy in detail right where I don’t need it. I replace the fence with a simpler hedge.

Toy theatre sets are always framed by ‘wings’, and so I’ve added architectural foreground  elements at either side to reference that aspect of them. Earlier on I did the same with the scene of the Princess’s garden. (See small image below.)

Above: a landscape of farm, yard and pond, windmill, church, cottage and distant houses with hills beyond, all viewed as though from the high terrace of a hill-town overlooking it.

Below: typical Pollocks toy theatre scene, quite naive in style and with bold hand-colouring. It’s this tradition that  I wanted to reference for this project.

The Soldier returns to the village that was once his home.  His mother lives in that little yellow cottage, but in his absence there have been changes that will surprise poor Joseph.

3 thoughts on “building joseph’s village for ‘the soldier’s tale’

  1. I see vestiges of your previous painting My Dream Farm here, and I love that you are giving the audience so much added information within the scene, and packing it with emotion and pathos for poor Joseph. I don’t know what has happened in the village when he returns, but it does seem that he carries it in his heart with him where ever he goes and remembers when he was once happy and what was dear to him and essentially good.

    • Thank you Janet. Poor Joseph has a very bad time of things once the Devil takes an interest in him. That certainly adds pathos to the story. Joseph isn’t self seeking or vain or greedy. He isn’t looking for riches and he hasn’t even got much ambition. This is no Faustian pact, where an eternal soul is knowingly bartered for a good life in the short term. All Joseph wants is to get home to be with his mother and fiancé. But the Devil waylays and tricks him, and Joseph is spirited away, diverted from returning to his village and loved ones. Later, when he realises what the Devil has done, it’s as though the spirit goes out of him. Tragic. Later he thinks he’s back on the path to happiness again when he sets his heart on winning the Princess, and though he succeeds in that goal, almost immediately things begin to go wrong. Fact: once the Devil has the poor fish on the hook, no amount of thrashing about is going to help the situation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s