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]