Sunday, December 19, 2010

senior: attic walk

this is the first piece of five illustrating the magician's nephew, the first book from c.s. lewis' chronicles of narnia. this is the scene where digory and polly are exploring the attic of their row house in london, to discover if they can travel between the houses via attic doors. soon they discover the secret contents of digory's crazy uncle's attic study, which is the beginning of their adventure.

this piece is very simple compared to it's companions, being a mere 5 paper pieces, but i think it's an appropriate beginning to the 9 following ones.

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
5 paper pieces

senior: the woods between the worlds

this is the scene where digory is transported to the woods between the worlds via enchanted rings and the pool designated to his world (london). already here is polly, who, under the environment's overly-peaceful influence, is asleep by a tree. this is an example of an overly ambitious design-decision on my part. the grass is made up of rings of different green atop a field of gold. not only did green prove a very annoying color to mix (all gouache hues perform and react differently to treatments) but the edges of all the rings also had to be painted. in all my cleverness i hid connections between the rings behind the trees, so that most of the grass was technically one piece and would stay together. while this helped with the issue of alignment, the gaps between the rings was so small it was difficult to paint the edges of one side without painting the edge of the other side. and while this usually wasn't a huge deal, it usually wasn't just the wrong edge that got effected but the places that are easily seen. in conclusion, the rings were not worth the trouble they caused, and i'm not even sure the color green you experience is the right one!

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
35 paper pieces

senior: carriage rides

this is a scene where jadis, after running off into london, returns to the house atop a horse drawn cab running wildly down the street. in hind sight i'm not sure why i committed to doing this piece when i could have easily found a more magical scene that needed illustrating. regardless, i'm fairly proud of this piece, even though it's one of my least favorite lol. how can that be?! first of all this was one of the most complex ones, containing 68 pieces. the cobblestones are actually all slightly attached, which i thought was kind of clever and was a lot of work for such a dry subject. i guess the reason i was so proud of this piece is that i don't enjoy architectural pieces, and there was so much perspective in this compared to the others. still i didn't bother giving most of the cab dimension, the sidewalk should be cobblestoned as well, and there should be some kind of potted plant or fire hydrant along the sidewalk to make it look more natural and filled up.

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
68 paper pieces

senior: flight

this is the scene where the horse from the previous piece has been given wings, courtesy of aslan, and has been asked to take digory and polly to the forbidden garden to retrieve an enchanted apple. the garden is described as sitting on a hilltop unreachable by foot, nestled in the mountains. i went through a lot of ideas for color in this piece because some of it was looking too tropical. in the end i went for a dry looking palette that accentuates the improbably lush growth of an enchanted, unattainable, basically deserted garden.

while i love the color of the sky with all it's flatness. this piece is still lacking something and probably could have done with a watercolor sky or maybe some indication of clouds. also it's probably pretty obvious that i was blatantly avoiding drawing the children on his back, even though in hindsight it really wouldn't have been that hard lol.

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
47 paper pieces

senior: forbidden fruit

this is the scene where digory is in the forbidden garden to pick an enchanted apple on aslan's request. at first he doesn't realize that jadis is also in the garden and has eaten the fruit revealing that the silver apples actually have dark red juice.

i really enjoyed doing this piece because the paper pieces are relatively big and not very delicate or particular. really it was a very simple piece, that used many of the same colors, however i found the effect pretty successful.

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
58 paper pieces

senior: mr. tumnas

this piece is one of my favorites, and is the first of five images for the lion, the witch and the wardrobe. mr tumnas is a fawn, half man, half goat, and is found wearing a red scarf and carrying brown paper parcels and an umbrella past the illusive lamppost. this was the first piece i did and it's made up of 55 separate pieces of cut paper (made possible through use of the laser cutter). for instance, his face is actually three pieces, not one. there's a black layer that extends out to make his eyes (the eyelashes actually got cut out!) and on top of that there is the top and bottom half of his face, separated just a fraction to make the contour of his nose. the black of his open mouth is also cut out. similarly his horns have a all-encompassing gold layer underneath a brown piece with the ridges cut away. designing these pieces became a fun game of figuring out the most efficient way of getting what i wanted, and however excessive some of the puzzling may seem, it actually was only done if i thought it would make my life easier. (some of the times i was wrong ;)

gouache and watercolor on cut paper 8x12"
55 paper pieces

senior: turkish delight

the notorious turkish delight scene! this is when queen jadis realizes she needs to gain the trust of edmund who has wandered into narnia by accident by seducing him with enchanted turkish delight. this was the first piece i did of jadis and i was pretty worried it would turn out to be a rip off of the abundance of narnia art on the internet. not to mention the character design used for the recent narnia movies is flawless. anyway i'm pleased that my jadis is as "un-influenced" as i could ever be.

in reviewing the quotes i should use beside each piece for my final binder i realized that in the process of being "original" i swayed pretty far from her description, which gives her flowing hair, a golden crown and wand and a white fur wrap, but i guess at this point narnia has so much loyal interpretation it could use some variation.

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
58 paper pieces

senior: the melt

this was drawn weeks after all nine pieces where drawn, vectorized, and sent to the laser cutter, so i'm relieved to say i was pretty pleased with how effortless this turned out to be. it happens to be the only piece without a character, but i think a nice environment piece is important. i'm not sure how well it communicates melting after a long winter to the extent i envisioned, but at that point i just needed it to look nice lol.

this piece is entirely hand cut, as apposed to most of the others. the paper is pretty thick, so the cutting is pretty difficult, but the trees were really the only challenge so i was lucky!

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
50 paper pieces

senior: death walk

this is the second version i did of this scene where aslan, accompanied by lucy and susan, is walking to meet queen jadis at the stone table where he has agreed to be sacrificed in place of their brother, edmund. the children don't know where he's headed, but they see his sadness, and walk with him nonetheless. sad :(

i'm conflicted with how i feel this piece compares to it's counterpart (which is posted a month or so prior). the characters are more personable because i had the use of the laser cutter at my disposal, so that is an improvement. the colors used for aslan are sill not right, nor are the colors used for the bushes, but i prefer their simplicity to the original.

gouache on cut paper 8x12"
34 paper pieces

senior: dead aslan :(

the final image for the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, where aslan is on the stone table after queen jadis has shaved his mane and killed him. after the mr tumnas piece, a lot of people said they responded to the watercolor background saying that the others lacked the more dynamic coloring, so as this was one of the last pieces, i made the background watercolor, which i think really helps, and it makes me regret not doing the same for other pieces.

gouache, watercolor on cut paper 8x12"
32 paper pieces