1. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    what do fairies look like?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by PBrady, Apr 6, 2015.

    If we discard the Walt Disney notions of fairies either looking like Barbie dolls with wings or like Angela Lansbury in a smock, what do they look like?

    How tall are they? If they are small, would they really look quite so human as some portray them?
    I quite like the notion of one of the Wizard of Oz follow on films where they are like nasty little insects that need to be killed with spray.

    I am reading through some translations of various early Celtic fairy tales, however they are missing out details such as appearance as they must have assumed that all their readers knew what fairies looked like. This knowledge seems to have been lost.

    This is for a doodle which takes a starting point that they do actually exist, and that a proposed building project will endanger their ancestral home. This story is based upon true events.
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always imagined them as having insect or skeletal body structures, with hollow eyes, mussels, broad mouths, acicular teeth for catching insects (this being their primary food source) and leathery bat-type wings. They would be pale and there skin would have a transparency that revealed the pulmonary system beneath. They would look ephemeral and angelic from a distance but increasingly ugly as you got closer. They would be a hands-width in height.

    I have no source for this description though, it is just how I always imagined them.
     
  3. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Tinkerbell would be very upset to know that you guys think they should be insects. Fairies look more like Golem with the big bug eyes, then they have opalescent wings, and they are about a foot tall. They are like the good version of imps that are often seen as evil-doers.
     
  4. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Fairies don't exist.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I rather liked the ones from Snow White and the Huntsman. They were charming without being Disney silly and one of them at least could have done with a bit of dental work. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies that's the ones I was describing. :superthink:
     
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  7. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    Fairies or Fae? It's more of a kind of race with separate species involved. Like humans, there are similarities though. A troll could be considered Fae or even a goblin. A lot of belief falls in that the "Fairy World" is a separate dimension.

    Example, a pixie verse a sprite. Their pretty much considered the same thing and are both depicted as the "Tinkerbell" type of fairy.

    I assume you're considering one of those two since you mentioned Tinkerbell. A Fairy Queen would be more of human size and appearance with her image being interlaced with parts of nature. A garland of sticks in her hair or some such. Also, consider between male and female. That tends to change the depiction of the appearance as well. Males tend to be uglier, while the women tend to be more attractive in Fairy lore.

    Depends on the era of the depiction too. With the whole Christian Crusades many images of other cultures began to be displayed as demonic. Horned, furred, or just a general diabolical appearance. In cultures that revered them they were creatures of peace and beauty. Some were composed entirely of elements of nature such as roots.

    It varies, but it's not like there will ever be real pictures. I say let your imagination go with it.
     
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  8. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    You do know that one of them dies everytime somebody says that.
     
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  9. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I thought that was kittens.
     
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  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It depends on whose writing about them. According to The Legend of Zelda series, they're basically small creatures that appear as only orbs of light with wings.

    [​IMG]
    In The Wind Waker, the Great Fairies looked like this:

    [​IMG]
    I will not post the image of the Great Fairies from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask because I don't want to get into trouble with the mods. Needless to say, um...they look like giant women with purple hair dressed in nothing but vines.
     
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  11. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    I was thinking more of what they were thought to look like before the pre Raphaelite artists, Enid Blyton and Walt Disney started drawing them.
     
  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Ah, well, in that case I don't know. :p I heard once, from an unreliable source, that fairies were tricksters at one point before they became the helpful ballerinas/balls of light we know them as today.
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You may have more luck if you could specify what time period you're looking at, and from which culture. I imagine things have changed drastically. Perhaps look into when the concept of fairies came to be and what the first drawings of them looked like. Fairies are a European idea, I think. Certainly off the top of my head, I can't think of a term for "fairies" in Chinese. We, on the other hand, have a term for these kinds of creatures that could mean genie, shapeshifters, fairies, elves etc, but that as far as I'm aware there's no such term in English.

    If you were concerned about being original, I suggest you actually look into other cultures' folklore and myths, and then blend features that interest you with what you think of fairies and/or what they represent, and from there create your own.
     
  14. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    [​IMG]

    Here is a debunked 'genuine' photo of faeries taken in 1917.

    If someone can tell me why it's fake I'll give them a like! (without looking it up :p)
     
  15. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    If I recall correctly the last surviving girl did admit to the fakery just before she died. The sharpness of the fairy images compared to the rest of the photo is suspicious. Having done some double exposures with an enlarger I suspect there are lines around the fairies where the mask was placed for the first exposure if this is how it was done. Having said that it was a very skilful image on the part of these two very young ladies. Or was it cutouts placed on the ground? I could Google it but that would be cheating
     
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  16. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is it. The suspicion becomes clear when you compare their wings to the waterfall in the back.(Which the long exposure caused it to blur) The long exposure required for these older photographs makes the stillness of the faeries obviously incoherent with real prancing faeries. Even Conan Arthur Doyle, Author of the infamous 'Sherlock Holmes' let something that obvious slip by, and credited these photos as proof that faeries exist.

    EDIT: They were indeed just cutouts lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  17. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    The photo is genuine.

    A fairy [or fairie] inhabits my pussycat's ear. I blow her a kiss, she takes my breath, composes GCSE psychology textbooks. I leave her to it, later arrange an engagement, discuss our broken hearts. Enchantment really, I call her Daphne. She appears, to me, somewhat like the OP's avatar, quite a dish.
     
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  18. Cappy and Pegody
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    Cappy and Pegody Member

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    they are fictional creatures and there fore look like what ever you write them to be. In my mind they are small winged humanoid with long pointy ears and large oval eyes. They are tough and have a rather naughty playful nature. They are sarcastic love a good pun and can be cuttingly sarcastic. Those are mine now show me yours.:D:bigtongue:
     
  19. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Depends on which type. Pixies are different from goblins, which are different from trolls, which are different from redcaps, and so on. There are hundreds of fae creatures from European lore alone.
     
  20. IronMyrs
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    IronMyrs New Member

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    If you are looking for artistic depictions of faeries with slightly more insectile features, Magic: The Gathering had some interesting designs for them in Lorwyn/Shadowmoor block. I apologize for the lack of larger versions of just the isolated art, but here are some interesting ones.

    Silkbind Faerie

    All Faeries from that Set
     
  21. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Tony DiTerlizzi did some really lovely illustrations for the Spiderwick books
     
  22. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    They were actually cut-outs from a story book which were then fastened to the bush with bobby pins. (hair pins)

    It's from Cottingley in England, they are known as the Cottingley Fairies - another fact, I think it was AC Doyle who actually said this was a genuine photograph!
     
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  23. IronMyrs
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    IronMyrs New Member

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  24. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I really, really want to post a funny reply to this but I don't want to offend.
     
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  25. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    They look like @Lewdog ;)
     

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