Common themes and elements of fairy illustrations include magic wands, stars, moons and flowers. Illustrations of fairies often feature castles, mushrooms, butterflies and other natural elements. Common flowers associated with fairies and fairy art include snapdragons, shamrocks, primrose and cowslip.
In art and literature, fairies are commonly depicted as being human in appearance but with magical qualities. However, they also vary in size, and diminutive fairies often have the ability to appear larger than they really are. Modern fairies are usually illustrated with insect-like or butterfly wings. Since fairies are highly associated with nature, fairy illustrations may also contain forests, rivers, meadows and other natural scenes.
Fairies are also skilled at crafts such as weaving, shoe-making, leather works, metal works and music making. Tools that relate to these trades are often featured in fairy illustrations. Fairies are also associated with light, and fairy illustrations may contain different elements of light. The fairy itself is sometimes depicted as glowing.
Fairies are a type of mythological creature. Most commonly depicted in European folklore, they are described as metaphysical and supernatural. They are associated with magic, herbs, stones and words that hold power. The word "fairy" comes from the Old French word, "faerie" which means "enchantment."