Dryad Concept Art
Hello! A discussion post by @rose in the Costumes forum regarding the different cultural influences within Narnia sparked my interest. There is also this post discussing specifically dryads and naiads in greater detail. I literally just saw this, having overlooked it before (I did not see it until after drawing the dryads). The first discussion in particular inspired me design concept art of dryads (and naiads) with a decided Greek influence in their clothing while still incorporating the patterns of the trees. @rose in particular mentioned that she hoped the dryads forms are quite human-looking, so that is what I tried to go for. I’m afraid they turned out more humanoid than I’d like with not enough “tree” features. And their ears are quite elven for some reason.
I’d be curious to know if you can guess what type of tree each dryad is supposed to be based on the picture alone!
Here is the first one: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Dz1hSTF3UgJhDiNt5
Here she is with more dramatic lighting: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ro1wE53nRfG8S51w7
I’d say I’m decently happy with how she turned out. In my mind, her dress was lighter and gauzier, and the pattern of the leaves would be more subtle and overlayed (more like frosted glass), which is not exactly how it turned out. Her hair is not at all like the description in Prince Caspian, though I suppose if you let it down, she would be able to “push back her hair from her brooding face to gaze on Aslan.” Though I suppose her face is not all that brooding, either. Ah, well, I’d found the discussion with the descriptions listed after I had drawn her.
Here is the second one: https://photos.app.goo.gl/obHUZ2EFMEm4p3R96
Here she is with more dramatic lighting: https://photos.app.goo.gl/dVTsVBNLLSV2xXNW8
Finally, here she is without the leaves in her hair: https://photos.app.goo.gl/KELcWNvfsn5KjmBa8
I personally think that this dryad turned out better than the first one. For this one especially, I wanted to play with the design and show how the different layering and silhouette of Greek dress could be used to convey the type of tree—in this case, tall and stately. I was going for rather statuesque figure, though I’m not sure about the leaves in her hair.
This was a fun experiment, and I’d love to know you think! Should I draw more dryads in this style?
"I am,” said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
I like them both a lot! (I'm congratulating myself on correctly identifying both tree types. ) They both look very dryad-esque. I'm intrigued by the patterning on the birch overgown; it looks both stiff, like bark, while the fabric is clearly draping around the belt at the waist...
If you're looking for suggestions, maybe a cedar dryad? Or oak trees are mentioned in Prince Caspian.
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago! -- G. K. Chesterton
Those are lovely, @wanderer. I really like the birch one.
This is a much-belated reply owing to me being swamped for a few months, @wanderer, but these are SO cool! I love how "human" they look while still being utterly evocative of their respective tree. (Yes, I did guess each one correctly. ) I'm having a hard time choosing which one I like best... the willow's dress is so pretty with the golden trim, but the lines on the birch's outfit are so dramatic and striking. I also love the Greek-inspired hairstyles on each. Very, very nice!
I hope you do more of these in the future, if the inspiration strikes... along with @Mel's suggestions, perhaps a holly tree? Lewis describes "shock-headed hollies (dark themselves, but their wives all bright with berries)" in Prince Caspian and I've always wanted to see a rendering of those especially. Come to think of it, they sound very Christmas-y.
wanderer, very late, but your interpretation of the Dryads is lovely! I like the flowing, full nature of the Willow Dryad's skirt and the birch pattern on the Birch Dryad's dress, as well as the specific Grecian influence in the Birch Dryad's dress. I'd love to see your interpretations of more Dryads if you draw them!
At last I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away!