Rapunzel, Rapunzel…

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel", Watercolour Pencil on Canvas, 2015, 92 x122cm, Charlie Kirkham.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel”, Watercolour Pencil on Canvas, 2015, 92 x122cm, Charlie Kirkham.

Every so often it’s good to refer back to fairytale a for a bit of inspiration. I came across this version of Rapunzel  http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Rapu.shtml

Rather than following it verbatim I wanted to create a piece that reflected different elements of the story. As a child I always imagined Rapunzel to have black hair, so I have kept her a brunette for this painting.  To give a time lapse feel I connected her hair to her final rescue where her tears restore the Prince’s sight and they have twins.

To begin I used quite a range of coloured Watercolour pencils. I felt like the palette was getting out of control, so paired it back to this set. There are two blues, two yellows and two reds.


The canvas is 4ft high. Drawing onto  canvas comes with its own set of challenges. It bounces back far more than paper. I like the way this gives a sense of texture, the mark making fights with the fabric of the canvas.

To knock back the overbearing white I used a soft brush loaded with water.

The effect pleased me so much that I did it all over!
I’m now building up another layer with drawing, will update when it’s finished!