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The Red Shoes by LCibos The Red Shoes by LCibos
This image was originally done in color, but upon completion, I found that the color detracted from the focus of the piece, her red shoes. So, I put a mask around the shoes and turned the rest grayscale. I think the result is more effective. Though it's a little bit sad to spend all that time coloring just to throw out colors at the end. Eh, c'est la vie!

The illustration is based on the story "The Red Shoes" by Hans Christian Andersen, which you can read in its entirety here: [link] Upon reading the story as part of my research for the illustration, I was very surprised by the heaviness of its religious message; the version of the red shoes I read as a kid was about a ballerina who puts who on a pair of red ballet slippers that force her to dance until she dies from exhaustion. Although in either case, it's a pretty dark story.

You can view the original color version on my blog: [link]
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Angelkitty17 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hans Christian Andersen was brilliant, wasn't he?  I agree that the grayscale gives focus to the piece, although the color version is lovely as well.
bethmora Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
This story gave me an obsession with red shoes that I still can't shake.

This piece captures the entire tale perfectly, it is beautiful. Thank you.
Ishtarstar Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
I love that splash of red in the grey landscape. Perfect for the story
Clare-Dragonfly Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
This is one of my favorite fairy tales and I love this illustration! Her expression is perfect, and I love the coloration, though now I'm curious to see a full-color version...
odwild Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011
Featured in the news article Children illustration - digital art feature
LCibos Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
the-Mad-Hatress Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2011  Student General Artist
I think the greyscale lends itself well to the dark tone of the story. :)
Lovely piece.
DaggerRavionFall Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Didn't she have to cut off her feet in order to get rid of them?
werewolfsfan Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011
Here via link from The Illustrated Word. Wonderful job on this! It's perfect.
Christian-Lee Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Stunning! What a great choice with the color!
NeriSiren Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
I like that you kept the focus on the red shoes, and made the rest grayscale--that overall grayness seems to fit better with the heavy, dark theme of the story. And I really like the girl's pose as she dances. Nicely done!
annewipf Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
Beautiful. l love the choice of colours :D
anyapooka Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010   Digital Artist
Oh, I remember this title but I can't remember, what was it about.
Nightglider Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Hobbyist Filmographer
I love it!!! *___________*
DragonKira Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2010
I agree, a very dark story, very religious too, but still it's a good story!And I think your work is fantastic!
Ashkanie Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
c'est triste
DemonOfSarila Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i like the idea. there's not much shading, but i think it works.
Anne-O Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
This is such a powerful image you have created. Great choice going black and white and the shoes red. Has such impact! Its such a sad story but you captured it!
Nuran-Cawthorne Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010   Digital Artist
I hate that story but I love this picture, the use use of grey and red is very effective.
jynx67 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009
You really have captured the essence of this story. So wonderful.
LCibos Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
ZoeStead Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love the darkness of the piece, it's very well portrayed, love the starkness of the red against the greytones. Wonderful work with the expressions as well. Really sad story but it does have a message, as fairy tales were supposed to back then. Disney really changed a lot of things!
The-Sax Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
Yeah, black and white does wonders to it. Might want to even increase the contrast to make the red pop out more. The varying shades of grey, especially in the sky draws my eyes away from her.
albundyland Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Nice illustration here Lindsay. I love the detail on the tree.
Kyomi-Uchiha Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
thats really cute!
AngelicAdonis Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very interesting...
CodeBlackSleuth Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
wow pretty love her shoes! the red is so bright and awesome background so creepy@
StaciNadia Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
I remember reading that fairy tale when I was younger. I always thought it was so sad. :( You captured the essence of it in this illustration! The pain and exhaustion of the little girl, the angel with the sword in the background watching, and the symbolic grave of vanity. I definitely like the image in grayscale, except for the red shoes. Beautiful work!
Anonymous-J Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
WOW, girl! This is beautiful! It should be a CD cover! <3
metonnika Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I like the Gothic look of this pictuer. I especially like how you made everything black in white except for the red shoes. I think it makes the image more affected.
TigerNightHawk Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
The contrast does look alot better this way it catches the eye more.
Flareon-Jupiter Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
The look of sadness and exhaustion on the girl's face... and the grave that says "VANITY"...

So sad, but this illustration is just amazing. Love the grayscale effect!

And I have read some of the original stories as they were orginally written by Hans Christian Andersen, such as "The Snow Queen" and "The Little Mermaid" --other adaptions of those stories were nothing like the originals!
tenko72 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
I know that story! Great scene. I like the shading and how you emphasized the red shoes. I like how there's stuff going on in BG too, like the angel statue and that vain grave.
BattleJesus Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
a dark picture for a dark story, I guess.
I'll have to read that, eventually.
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Submitted on
June 11, 2009
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