Drawing Faery is a little trickier than seeing them; it requires a bit more trust.
Sometimes I see the faery folk through the process of psychic art — which Brian Froud does as well, only so very much better! (And so does Wendy Froud with her sculpture.) Some psychic artists draw their visions directly, just as they would anything else they might see. The more skilled the artist, the more artistic the resulting painting, BUT... Not all of painters let the energy of the faeries shine through. That is a special talent and a skill in itself — and one that Brian and Wendy Froud and a number of other artists have in full measure.
One way you may be able to tell (not always) the difference between the Real Thing and someone's imagination is in the variety of their drawings. If all of them look essentially the same, repeating the same appearance, then you may be looking at someone's imagination (or their artistic sensibilities). If you see a great variation, you're more likely to be looking at the Real Thing. The faery folk are extremely varied. Plus they are shape-changers and may appear in any shape that suits them in the moment.
Don't worry, though, if you aren't a Great Artist — the faeries are not concerned about that. They are interested in whether or not you let their energy — splashy, wild, riotous, fun, whatever — get onto the page. They can do that best when you control your drawing the least. The more practiced an artist you are, the more "artistic" the finished drawing will be, but that really doesn't concern the faery folk. They love Brian and his art because he lets them shine through the painting and he doesn't impose his ideas on them. His great artistic talent and skill means that the rest of us can then see them vividly too, so we all gain.
The main thing is that faery folk seem to adore the attention of having paintings made of them, no matter who draws them or how skilled one is or isn't, just as flowers enjoy being admired even if you're not you're a botanist and don't know their Latin names. The fae are always pleased by the results if we let them "energize" the painting. And that's something any of us can learn to do with willingness and a bit of practice.
We can let the faeries draw themselves, energizing our paintings by "lending" them our hands. This process is akin to automatic writing. You can begin by entering a meditative state and inviting the faery folk to help you to draw their portraits. When you sense their presence and enthusiasm by your own enthusiam, you are ready to begin the painting. Then, you just hold your pen or pencil over the page and begin to lightly and loosely scribble.
It's that simple. Just scribble. After a while you may begin to see faces or forms in the scribbles. When you do, keep on scribbling! Don't try to take over and direct the pencil, just stay loose. You may even be able to feel the energy build as you do this. With practice, you will be able to feel the energy — and to feel when it stops. That will tell you when to stop. When you look at the scribbles for the faces and forms that jump out, turn the paper every which way. Look at it upside down and sideways. Hold it up to the light and look at it from the back. Find everything you can — and then keep looking. There will be more — if not now, then the next time you look.
Once I was teaching a class about faeries in Cornwall and when it came time for the people to try drawing them, I asked them to request that a faery help them to make the picture and then just scribble. One woman began industriously scribbling in a circular motion — hundreds of circles. A few of the rest began to do something similar, but the rest just sat there helpless because they "couldn't see anything" in spite of the fact that they'd been told several times that it was not about seeing.
After a bit, the busy ones were running down, so they were asked to stop and look at their drawing and see what they might find. Eileen, the woman with the circles, couldn't see anything interesting on her page at all. Because I was standing facing the group, I could see thing that they could not. I took Eileen's paper and held it up to the class. They all, including Eileen, looked baffled.
Then I turned it upside down. The sound of suddenly indrawn breaths ran through the room. On the page, made entirely of circles, was a doorway with "someone" standing in the door reaching out toward everyone. No one missed seeing it — not even Eileen. They all got it then — it's not about control or "drawing" — it's about asking for help and then trusting the process. Those three words are the key to nearly everything about dealing with faeries — and a lot of other things to do with psychic and spiritual doings.
When you have found whatever is there, now is the time to sketch it in more definitely — if you want to. Don't erase what was there on top, just accent the lines and shapes you see. I recommend practicing for a short while every day. Just after you've meditated is probably the best time, while you mind and body are already relaxed and quiet.
Two more things about looking at faery folk. First, I know that many people refer to them as "the wee folk" or "the little people.' Only some of them are small. I well remember the one who visited me when I was very ill. Every morning before dawn, he came in the door. To do so he had to bend well over. He was about nine feet tall, with antlers above that. And when he sat on the side of the bed, the whole mattress tilted. He came to hold my hand in silence as we went from the dark through sunrise to earliest morning. I got the feeling that he was anchoring me in this world through that edge time on the threshold of the day.
Lastly, for most of us, they are easiest to see when we are very relaxed, which is one of the reasons they come to us in dreams, at the edges of sleep, and at other liminal places. So, the last advice I have for you about looking for the fae folk is: Don't. Just relax. They are there, but you need to relax enough to be able to spot them.
Something you might like to know: according to Dictionary.com, Liminal (Latin: limen, which means "threshold") is an adjective
Think about this: how often have you gone to the kitchen and when you got there you'd forgotten why you came? Doorways are liminal spaces, and as we pass through them, our brains apparently do this little jump between the room we were in and the room we are entering, which may contain things we don't expect. For example, your brain might then note that there is a potholder out of place. In itself this is trivial, and your brain might not bother bringing it to your conscious awareness — unless it is on the stove and near a fire, in which case the brain will likely raise an alarm, bringing your conscious mind to notice that there might be danger. This is what that liminal space is about — to let go of the last space and on some level notice everything about the new space. Going through a door happens quickly and gives little time for the mental change so there is a chaotic moment in there, during which we are apt to forget exactly what it was that we intended to do.
Thus, a A liminal space is the time between the 'what was' and the 'what is coming.' It is a place of transition, where we wait, not knowing exactly what to expect ahead. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it reorient us. This is why dawn and twilight are so magical — they give us more prolonged liminal spaces in which to consciously see what is what is different, what is new, who is there. Traditionally that is the time those of Faery are most likely to be seen and met.
Back to Drawing Faeries:
There is another reason for not looking directly for them. The human eye sees subtle energy (low levels of light) better in peripheral vision — off to the side rather than looking straight at the source. Since the faery folk appear to our perceptions only as subtle energy forms, we can often see them better if we look for them just as we would look for auras around people. In fact, the human aura and faery aura are made of the same stuff. Just as they are subtle energy forms in our world, so are we in theirs. So look a little away, relax, and when they pop into vision (either as light or appearing to have a body), don't jump to stare in that direction. Not only is staring rude, but it also doesn't work.
Not everyone sees Otherworld denizens easily. Some of us see them with our hearts instead of our eyes. I do. Brian Froud does. And we draw them, but Brian does it much better than most of us.
Remember: if they make faces at you, make faces back at them — they love it!
Copyright ©2001 and ©2019 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.