This week’s Illustration Friday topic, disguise, made me positively tingle with excitement – I was itching to crack open the pencil case, smell the sweetly metallic scent of freshly-shaved pencil, dash off a few pages of the cunningly camouflaged little characters that frolicked between other, infinitely less compelling images in my mind’s eye (e.g. new furniture layout for the studio, most efficacious manner in which to fold miscellaneous ‘stuff’ so it’ll fit under bed, etc.)… However, having – several weeks previously – scheduled fun visits from far-flung friends, and resolved to commence (rather late…) my fundraising endeavours for my half-marathon in earnest this week, I discovered yesterday afternoon that I was already snatching at the last vestiges of Wednesday, and that the next Illustration Friday topic was already idling just over the horizon. So, I rather hastily scrawled into being the first illustration that had suggested itself to me – one modelled v. closely on my delightfully enterprising (and spectacularly optimistic) niece, Annie, upon receipt of a new, fleecy (in the manner of sheepskin), hooded jacket some years ago:
Her first instinct had, of course, been to make like a sheep and – enlisting the assistance of both myself and grandma – accessorize with black leggings, two pairs of black leather boots (both hands and feet had to be shod, naturally), and some strategically placed, partially unravelled, cotton wool balls. Attention to detail in constructing this costume was absolutely paramount: the end result had to be convincing enough to ovine eyes that she could, after practising her four-legged gait, infiltrate the flock that grazed in the paddock adjacent to mum’s house, entirely undetected.
You’ll be astonished, no doubt, to hear that it wasn’t an entirely successful operation… (I seem to recall being blamed for the failure of the ensemble, having declared that she probably didn’t also need a hand-crafted mask to effect her identity coup – my chief reason being that she’d probably stumble, four-bootedly, into one of the many cowpats that still dotted the field from the previous week’s grazing, but also [I’ll admit] owing to laziness…)
By way of reference, I’ve also managed to excavate – from the morass that is my ‘miscellaneous’ folder – a picture of the actual Annie, in full disguise, practising tactics before unleashing her max-strength ‘sheep’ on the deeply skeptical flock:
To be honest, I think it’s a pretty strong effort – although I feel her reluctance to chew grass and propensity to chatter, as opposed to bleat (not to mention her inability to, er, mobilize in four-legged formation), would have betrayed her in the end. Handmade sheep-face mask or no.