Sunday, 8 March 2009

12+ character illustration

I thought I'd post it up to get some outside points of view- I've spent so long on this one I can't really decide whether I like it or hate it any more. I think there's about 45 characters in total, it's a spot illustration for a scene in a short story by Susannah Clarke (from the book The Ladies of Grace Adieu)- the reason I chose it was that the books already illustrated by Charles Vess, whose style I really admire. But all of his pictures are more scene-setting than showing moments of action- so that's what I wanted to attempt. 

The moment from the story was this:

"She told me afterwards that through her right eye she  had seen a company of ladies and GEntlemen  who bent upon her looks of such kindness that it made her wretched to think that she was decieving them, while through her other eye she had seen the goblin forms of John Hollyshoe's servants.

There were horned heads, antlered heads, heads carapiced like insect's heads, heads as puckered and soft as a mouldy orange; there were mouths pulled wide by tusks, mouths stretched into trumpets, mouths that grinned mouths that gaped, mouths that dribbled; there were ba'ts ears, cat's ears, rat's whiskers; there were ancient eyes in young faces, large, dewy eyes in worn faces, where were eyes that winked and blinked in parts of the anatomy where I had never before expected to see any eyes at all. The goblins were lodged in every part of the house: there was scarcely a a crack in the wainscotting which did not harbour a staring eye, scarcely a gap in the bannisters without a snout or nose poking through it. They prodded us with their horny fingers, they pulled our hair and they pinched us black and blue."


myeyeisonfire said...

As usual, massively ambitious - you and Jess may be racing to see who is burnt out first?

I'm not sure how this is a spot illustration, guess I need to see it in its text and image context.

Also, composition again very strong - some angles of the characters that niggle me. The tonal line quality is getting there.

Are you going to the figure drawing classes?

Debbie Lambert said...

I know, I sort of deviated away from it being a spot illo, and I've tried incorporating the text into it in another version. So sort of like a double page-spread for a comic version of the story (if that makes sense):

Here on Flickr

but yes, as usual I think I overreached, burnt out partway though and some of the drawing shows it. I need to find a healthy balance where I'm pushing myself but I don't get sick of it partway through as happened with this and partly with shatterface and hollow men.

I'm going to start going to them this week (figure drawing).