This blog is a celebration of novel, novel characters!

I love reading novels, and as an artist I know a great exercise to stretch one's illustration skills is to portray characters from a description in a book. This blog is a challenge to myself to do just that so I'll be posting illustrations from whatever book I'm currently reading. Feel free to add comments and send me your fan art for these great titles too!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Classics- Robin Hood

One of my all-time favorite classic stories is “Robin Hood.”  He’s the classic roguish hero.  I just finished an illustration of Robin Hood and his lovely lady which I thought I’d share with you.

The original, done in Oil Pastels

I actually did an original of this piece a few years ago with oil pastels but the colors did not reproduce well, so I took it into the computer and re-did the piece so I can make art prints of it.  Currently, I have a policy of not selling any of my novel character pieces inspired by copyrighted works out of respect for the authors and their publishers, but as Robin Hood is such a legend and many Robin Hood stories fall under the public domain, I am making this illustration available as a print on my etsy store.

Stories of Robin Hood date back centuries. Long before he was a novel character, Robin Hood was a legend.  Scholars believe that he could have lived as early as the 12th century!

Because he’s been around so long, there’s almost more stories about him than one can count.  Searching “Robin Hood” on goodreads.com brings up over 600 results!  Wow!

The only version that I’ve read is, “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood,” written and illustrated by Howard Pyle, published in 1883.  Because the work falls into “Public Domain” you can download, and read it for free.  It’s on Gutenberg.org if you want to check it out:  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10148

Pyle was an amazing artist as well as a writer, there’s a great blog which you can check out to see some of his paintings. http://howardpyle.blogspot.com/

In Pyle’s version of Robin Hood, there isn’t even a story about Maid Marian, but many of the stories about how the members of the band joined Robin Hood which we know from movies and TV shows, came from his version.  I had fun reading it, but the language took some work getting used to.   Lots of, “quoth’s, doth’s, thow’s, and thee’s.”

I could go on for days about Robin Hood; I did a google search of Robin Hood books for fun, and like I mentioned above, that brought up practically more stories than a person can count!

Another wide-spread version that you may come across is Henry Gilbert’s “Robin Hood,”  Illustrated by Frank Goodwin.  I believe it was published in the early 1900s.  In my google search I came across a reprint of it with a new cover.  I’m not sure who the illustrator for this cover is, but I really dig it.

For more about Robin Hood, check out the Robin Hood Society!

What's your favorite version of Robin Hood?


  1. My husband (dyslexic and therefore would rather listen to me read) likes me to read stories to him on long trips. So he chose Robin Hood...and you aren't kidding about the language. It's almost middle English! Made me very tired and my brain sore. :)

    And my favorite Robin Hood so far is the Russel Crowe Robin Hood movie. Oh my, what a hero. I was so enamored with the movie's hero I stewed on it for months on how I could make a similar hero with the things I loved about him in the genre I write so I could have the pleasure of writing a hero like him! Oh, to one day get to write that story!

    And I dont' know if it's me, but I read you in a blog reader, which makes the type easy to read, but when I come here to make a comment, the text body font is really hard to read. The letters are tiny and whatever the font is, it leaves gaps in the letters themselves making it even more unpleasant to read. Might scare off some of your readers.

    I had a criticism like that once on a blog of mine, and the day I gave in and changed my font, the percentage of people that subscribed compared to how many drove by went up considerably.

    1. Thanks for the tip about the font. Being an artist I have a tendency to think about beauty over function, but function is very important so I'll see if I can pick a font that will be easier to read! Thanks :D

    2. I changed the font, what do you think? I also made it larger.

    3. Much better! I wouldn't give up and go somewhere else now. :)

  2. Awww, cute Robin Hood.

    I always love the Errol Flynn/Olivia deHavilland Robin and Marian. They were both so beautiful.

  3. You know I have yet to watch the Russel Crowe Robin Hood movie, one of these days I will. :) So it's a toss up between the Errol Flynn and Disney versions for a favorite! I go with the Errol flynn one when I'm in a swash-buckling mood, and the Disney one when I want something silly. Well, that or Men in Tights...

    1. I think I saw the Russel Crowe version in the $5 bin at Walmart---I wanted to buy it again because that movie is so worth it. :)

    2. \(O.O)/ Ooh, I love the $5 bin. Once in a while gems like that pop up, I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

  4. Ever read the part in 2 Samuel where David is running from Saul and all the men in trouble or debt joined him? Always sounds like an original Robin Hood to me.

    1. I have read that, never thought to make that connection. That's really cool Rebecca. :D

  5. Hi Monica! Love, love, love this post! I'm a Robin Hood legend fanatic too. :)

    In fact, I am going to England next month and visiting Nottingham and Sherwood Forest--and I CAN'T WAIT!

    My favorite Robin Hood version is the 1991 Kevin Costner film, "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves." It came out when I was a kid and I always dreamed of having a wedding just like he and Maid Marian at the end with autumn leaves swirling around them in the forest. Swoon...lol.

    While I'm in England, I'll be visiting two scene locations from that movie - the tree at Hadrian's Wall when Robin and Hazzem arrive in England and rescue the boy in the tree from the Sheriff's men and Robin's ancestral castle, which is actually Old Wardour Castle in southern England. I'll be doing blog posts all about it on my blog at www.pensonaworldmap.com when I get back. :)

    I'm also very exciting researching my third novel, which centers around Nottingham, Robin Hood, a manor house, Edwardian London and family secrets. Talk about a mouthful. hehe. Well thanks for the great post! I enjoyed it!

    1. Also if you haven't watched the Robin Hood TV series with Jonas Armstrong in the title role, it is quite good.

    2. Hi Morgan,
      I could have easily made this post 10x as long! Wow, a trip to England to visit all the Robin Hood landmarks sounds amazing. I'm looking forward to your post about it. What a great blog btw! I'm going to have to catch up on all the past posts. I look forward to reading your novels when they get published!

      I like the Kevin Costner Robin Hood film too, although I missed him not having a British accent. The look of that film and the sets were great. Haven't seen the Jonas Armstorng TV series yet, but I've watched most of the old-school one with Richard Greene!

      I see on your blog you have a picture taken in Salzburg, Austria. Was that at the castle? I got to go there in 2010 when my dad preached at some churches in the area. It was quiet an interesting trip! Looking at you blog really makes me get the travel bug again; the last time I went on an international trip was in 2011 when I went to Japan. Oh pitty me, two years without a big trip! I am seriously blessed to have been able to travel as much as I have! :D