So yeah, more than just ink here. Still a lot of black line-work and texture. I really like how this one turned out. Kept it thematically ambiguous. Enjoying experimenting with mixing different mediums for now.
There’s a bird inside my ribcage. He screams so I’ll never forget.
I wanna smash away my sternum.
I wanna rip him from his nest.
You’d sew me back up like a garden,
and there’d be flowers in my chest.
It’d hide away his power,
and give us a place to rest.
There’s a bird inside my rib-cage.
And I wish I could just forget.
All I wanted was our garden,
I drew a line in our fault, with these worthless fucking hands.
I drew a line through this salt, so you’d connect the strands.
I drew this line in defense, of my God-damn worthless hands.
I drew a line through the salt, so you’d know my plans.
Having recently completed the general and rough manuscript for Butterfly Gate and passing it off to a trusted editor, I suddenly have time to work on my other stories and art projects. Re-reading and editing the same 460 page story three times within a week is hard work, but also really engaging and fun for me.
So this week (Spring Break!) has been all about planning new art for my other work-in-progress Saving Hadley and tackling a new arc. I also had time on the side to start writing my third project, Wall-Spider in a more serious capacity. As soon as I finished the rough short story (now chapter one of Wall-Spider) I knew I wanted to take it farther, but I already had a few engulfing projects. It was great to really delve into developing a new book, and infinitely less stressful than the first two times.
It’s a little mind-blowing and encouraging how visible the improvement has been. I started by re-working the short story. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to my current standards or style, so I improved the flow and counter-play between the first and third person narration. Then, having a good six months of ideas and notes about where I wanted to take it, barfed out a cool sixty pages, which was a new record for me.
But there’s other clerical work I do when I approach a novel. Part of that was taking the art I’ve already done for Wall-Spider and reworking it.
The main challenge was retroactively fixing the perspective issues with the first sketch. Then I drew as realistic of a padded cell backing as I could in Photoshop. The rest was simple lighting.
Obviously there are still some lighting and perspective issues, but I felt good about it for a simple three-hour session. One of the main takeaways from this for me is to really spend more time planning perspective. Messing up the two-point as badly as I did on a drawing that was otherwise very solid and emotionally personal/important to who I am was a little silly. I could have avoided the issue by spending two minutes with a compass to measure the two-point, but I free-handed the lines and rolled with it.
The philosophy for my different art series and projects are usually experimental and relatively consistent from piece to piece within the series. That makes this particular piece a little bit of a black sheep next to it’s brothers and sisters. It’s technically a similar multimedia style, but far more impressionistic in terms of technique and presentation. The background is entirely texture-work with no real lines or contour aside from the track receding into the horizon.
One of the goals for this was to turn the surrealism present in the other five up a notch. I’m not sure it was successful. The theory was by clashing rudimentary and clean texture work with smoother and more realistic shading and contour, it would bring out that dreamy kind of feel I wanted. The harsh contrast and reverse shading of the two-dimensionally textured sky and clouds were meant to bring her into focus, as the drawing itself is very busy and kind of small. It’s ambitious in that way, but I think my mechanical skill and ability to draw detail in really small areas fell short. Especially in the hair, hands and face. I’m happier with the broken wing and I think overall the piece is a unique capstone for the series.
Moving forward, I really want to work on my figure drawing and eyeballing proportions. I screwed the broken wings position up a little and that left hand is just poorly realized and rendered.
I think it’s really helpful for me personally to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. So I’ll end on a more positive note, I think the monchromatisism being broken by the aggressive crimson blood was a good call. It helps emphasize a few details that would easily be misunderstood due to poor contour and wing texturing. I will definitely be experimenting with that in the Wall-Spider art moving forward.
Another part that I think I did well on was the clothing. The ripped tank and overly textured jeans serve to impose and communicate where she is on the tracks. That’s not always easy when you’re working in black and white, because you only have one real range of value to differentiate things.
Concept: For Scorpio, I wanted to depict determination, or heart. It was done in pen and then colored with watercolors and a little bit of white oils. I overlay-ed the text in the same way as the first two (found here:). This one also has a superimposed picture of a radio-tower that I shaped with an eraser to get the abstract effect.
Size: 7×10.2 in. on Watercolor paper.
Thoughts: I really liked how this one turned out. I spent significantly more time on line-work and composition planning than I did for the first two. The model is a loose depiction of Senua, a character from a recent video game: Senua’s sacrifice.