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Washer at the Ford
By janey-jane   |   Watch
117 27 3K (1 Today)
Published: June 17, 2007
© 2007 - 2019 janey-jane
A quicky of a bean nighe, the Scottish version of the Bean Sidhe (Banshee). Bean Nighe means roughly "washer women" and they were said to be found in streams washing the clothes of men about to die in battle. In some stories they were the spirits of women who had died in childbirth, in others they were simply sidhe messangers from the underworld. Like the bean sidhe they could either appear as very beautiful or very ugly (I went for a little ambiguity - her figure is youthful, but I intentionaly obscured her face).
For some reason bean nighes have been a recurring theme in my sketchbooks over the years.


Playing around with my pen techniqe some more - not entirely pleased with how she turned out, I wanted her to have more weight...more substance, but maybe I've been looking at her too long. I am quite pleased with the water and the weapons. I :heart: weapons but rarely draw them.
Image size
1700x2600px 569.93 KB
IMAGE DETAILS
Make
HP
Model
HP psc1400
Date Taken
Jun 17, 2007, 11:32:00 AM
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Comments (25)
brody-lover's avatar
brody-lover|Professional General Artist
You've been featured! [link]
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nmmi-nut's avatar
why do you make me favorite everything in your gallery...why!? *passes out at the awesome*
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
Because I live to make you love me :P
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nmmi-nut's avatar
Noooo!

...wait...

As long as that includes more art from you I think that might be fine...
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Elizelda's avatar
Elizelda|Student General Artist
Great work! I especially love the water, which looks like liquid darkness flowing from her feet. The weapons are cool as well, they add to the nature of the bean nighe washing the clothes of men soon-to-die. I also think it's really nice that you obscured her face, so what she really looks like is left up to the viewer.
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Akai-Tenshi's avatar
Akai-Tenshi|Hobbyist General Artist
I remember reading about them in a book on fae myths! Your drawing is chillingly amazing!
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
thanks! I actually want to re-do this because I wasn't happy with how it came out. I wanted it to be much 'heavier' and darker. It's a start though!
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airenzi's avatar
I've always liked the "washer woman" out of what little I know about Irish/Scottish mythology. She always seemed particularly scary, and this picture reflects that really well. I even knew what this was before clicking on it.

:heart: the water, and your beautiful crosshatching. The negative space sort of provokes a feeling of being far from help - and here you are, alone in the night with an omen of death.
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pigeon-wisperer's avatar
This is really beautiful, I wish I could get such lovely detail in my pen drawings.
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
having my good pens helps. And making myself work at the detail - I always want to be lazy and just fudge through the fussy parts, but I'm always happy when I force myself to be good.
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suburbanbeatnik's avatar
suburbanbeatnik|Professional Traditional Artist
You know how much I like this one, because I fav'd it. :D But I love how it feels there's a great story behind it. When is it set? I wondered when I first looked at it. The late middle ages? The Renaissance? Who's been fighting who? I think the use of all the white space is a really smart move- it really makes a striking contrast with the darkness of the figure and the weapons.
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
I'm glad that you really like this one. I like the visual concept a lot, but eventually I want to rework the actual piece because it didn't quite get to where I wanted it, I think her pose is not quite what I was going for. I had a vague story behind it, but I was thinking of expanding it into a series when I redo this one... maybe a triptych? I figured since she's a Scottish fairy definitely a battle in Scotland or concerning the Scottish (hence the tartan cloth in her hand and the Scottish weaponry behind her). I considered Culloden but wondered if that would be to 'modern' for something revolving around traditional myths and folklore. It could always just be some non-specific clan battle type thing. Eh... *shrugh*
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suburbanbeatnik's avatar
suburbanbeatnik|Professional Traditional Artist
Culloden is too overdone... I was thinking more of a 16th cent. battle, like Flodden, [link] or the battle of Pinkie Cleugh, during the "Rough Wooing." [link] I'd love to see a triptych! BTW, Osprey has a lot of great books about Scottish military history, with lots of pictures of how people dressed and everything. [link]
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
I had thought of Flodden, but Pinkie Cleugh would be interesting as a "modern" battle. Hmmm *ponders*, thanks for the Osprey tip!
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Jb-612's avatar
Whoah, neato! When I first looked at the water, it reminded me of a pool of slippery hair...Great job using the weapons to tie the composition together! You and your clever concepts....this is SO COOL!
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
neato is definately an underused word these days, btw. The water does look like hair doesn't it! Sweet! Ah JessJess, you're so good for my ego. (or are you bad for my ego? which way does it go?)
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Jb-612's avatar
Good for ego, absolutely. But I miss you! We need to get together so I can further inflate your ego.
I'm impressed by your art. I've just been doodling fanart all summer. *shame*
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
you have no idea how hard it's been for me to resist doing fanart (I did mention I've been re-reading all the HPs yeah?). But keep watch for some truely wicked fanart in the next couple weeks, and then you won't feel so shamed. And I want to see you. Really, really bad. Let me know when you're free or if you want to come up to austin or meet somewhere in between...call me :mobile:
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Goldenspring's avatar
Goldenspring|Student Artisan Crafter
this is lovely. I do think you achived weight but there is something about the angle of her chest that makes her look like she is about to fly out of the water. like there is a string tied to her ribs pulling up. I think it's cool but could that have been what was effecting her appearance of weight?

(her vail reminds me of the bride in Tim Burton's "corpes bride")
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
oh and I forgot:

YAY TIM BURTON :cuddle: !!!
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
I think you're right about how she's posed *wants to draw in string tied to ribs with other end attached to fishing pole*, it's a little ...off...and i think it is what gives her a sort of ..wrongness or... weightlessness. But I am less dissatisfied now that it's been a few days. Guess I was just suffering from a bit of cognative dissonance :upset:
thanks for the thoughtful comments!
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ThePancakeMaker's avatar
I love all the details in this drawing, the way the fabric patterns follow the folds in the fabric, the little plants growing at the edge of the water, the lion on the banner, and just everything! Really great drawing! Also, I think you've been looking at her for too long because she's as nice as the rest of the picture!
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janey-jane's avatar
janey-jane|Professional General Artist
thank you for your lovely comments! I have a tendency to just draw figures and then ignore details and context so this was a concious effort to focus more on the entire composition, I'm glad you like the results of my efforts!
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GloomyVirginia's avatar
Beautiful! I love your drawing!
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