Sunday, 30 December 2012

Humpty Dumpty

'Humpty Dumpty', an illustration by JVL for Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, published by Artists' Choice Editions, 2011.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less,"


  1. I love the fact that his chequered outfit includes a chess board!

    And the 'Peace' sign? A relic from the Berlin wall, perhaps...?

  2. Well observed Brian!

    Here is my diary entry for Monday 15 June 2009 when I started to illustrate Humpty Dumpty.
    'I spent most of the day drawing the Humpty Dumpty illustration, trying to make him quite severe in expression. It took ages to get his eyes and mouth to how I wanted them. I have made his mouth somewhat like a cracked egg. I’ve got his eyes in a kind of stare, since he often looked away from Alice. As if you are about to take the top off and eat it. At first the text doesn’t mention his having ears – just eyes, nose and mouth. But later it mentions ‘he grinned almost from ear to ear’. ‘He was sitting with his legs crossed like a Turk’. Not many illustrators have drawn him in this position (as far as I know) so I decided to do so. It took a long time to get the legs as I wanted them too. The wall has to look narrow and I have used the technique that Tenniel cleverly adopted, by having a wall that has an angular coping at the top to make the wall particularly narrow where Humpty is sitting. Maybe his hands should be larger. His right hand is in the position of ‘H’ for ‘Humpty’ in sign language, and his left hand is in the position of ‘D’ for Dumpty. His left hand also has a single finger out to anticipate when he finally ‘gives one of his fingers to shake’ Alice’s hand.'

    The butterflies represented are 'Wall' butterflies of course! The illustration took me just over 21 hours to draw.

  3. The Corrected Version Of Lord Humpy Dumpty

    Lord Humpy Dumpty Placed The Posterior Portion Of His Anatomy Upon A Barricade.

    Lord Humpy Dumpty Had A Sudden Descent From Said Barricade To The Terrie Firma.

    All Of The Reigning Monarchs Quadropent And Manual Under His Command Were Totally Unable to Restore Lord Humpy Dumpty To His Previous Physical Stature.