Back to Guernsey and a few illustrations of some crafty customers known locally as Le Petit Colin and Le Grand Colin; supernatural creatures that enjoy meddling in the domestic affairs of their human neighbours, much like a Hobgoblin or Boggart.
Here’s the very first thumbnail I did for the above painting, scribbled between the paragraphs of the brief. Unusually, it’s quite close to the final in terms of its basic layout. I wanted to paint the spectral horses look like they were made of the same stuff as the moon, but for some reason I couldn’t make it work so I had to settle for a subtler approach. Often, what’s in my head (and looks marvellous in there) refuses to plop out onto the paper. This is a very annoying thing to have to put with.
Next up, an unfortunate householder rescues someone from a storm, only to find it’s a pesky Colin. Once invited in, Le Colin is a tricky guest to extricate…
Next, a rough for the incident at La Longue Roque, a megalithic standing stone that can still be found on the island. Naturally, its particular placement is down to a quarrel between the Colins.
Lastly, the Colins like nothing better to creep in and steal bread from your furze oven. A furze (or gorse) oven is a small cubby hole in the fireplace, common on the Channel Islands and also here in Devon. They are stuffed full of furze that is sealed in and burnt until the oven is red hot, whereupon the bread (or cake or joint of meat) is slow cooked within. In the following image, Le P’tit Colin has trouble hanging onto the scalding loaf with his thieving hands.