I first came across the book 'Faeries' when I went to an adult art evening class in Dublin. I was at a convent boarding school and art wasn't high on the list of priorites so I went along there for a few Friday evenings after school. I feel very fortunate to have met William Spencer who taught the class as he took an interest in me and spoke to me honestly about my work. He must have been a well known there as I remember seeing one of his illustrations on the front cover of a drawing pad but I haven't been able to find out anything about him on Google since.
We went through a range of different techniques but it wasn't until we got to pencil (strangely one of the last) that he noticed me. (The only other technique I liked was painting in black only - is that called ink and wash even if you use watercolour?) Then he brought in the book to show me and I was blown away by the beautiful pencil drawings. I meant, over the years to buy the book, but never did. I saw it in a bargain bookshop in the eighties after it had gone out of print and dithered over it, left it, went back and it was gone. Finally last week I bought it and to my surprise it wasn't just by Brian Froud, it was also illustrated by Alan Lee. I loved all his illustrations for the Lord of the Rings and I saw the similarites but hadn't realised that he was one of my early inspirations!
I drew this, a copy of one of the sketches, to get a feel of how it was drawn (surprisingly few pencil strokes, especially compared to my usual methods. I also made a note use a greater range of values!) but as the individual illustrations are not credited I don't know for sure whether to credit Brian Froud or Alan Lee. I suspect it's by Alan Lee as Brian Froud tends to do very dark eyes.