Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Work in Progress

Yesterday I began work on a new painting.  I guess I would have to say it was inspired by the John Bellairs book that Mark and I are reading to one another at night.  It's called the "Dark Secret of Weatherend."  I'm not illustrating anything from the book (there is no scene like it in the book), but reading this spooky book gave me the idea of trying to create a spooky image for children, an illustration that hopefully will look like it might have come from a children's book.  To start, I began by doing a quick pen study in my sketchbook.  As I worked, I got the idea of a young boy in an old abandoned house, searching for something. He gradually begins to notice that he is being watched by something in the doorway.  You can see my original sketch at the right.  It is actually just a thumbnail sketch, but it was enough to give me an idea of the scene and its composition.

As I began to develop the painting I decided that the item that he has discovered in the box on the desk would be a small statue of a man-like creature. As he turns around, he discovers that the thing watching him from the doorway is identical to the statue he has just discovered.

Maybe at some point I'll attempt to write a story to go with this, but for now I'm only interested in developing this scene. I'm hoping that the final result will be atmospheric, a bit spooky but also somewhat humorous. The color image that I'm posting today is the work in progress. I still have a lot to do on it.  Basically what you see is the image with the colors blocked in. I have just begun to add some detail. Now it's just a process of smoothing out the shapes, adding lighting and shadows and of course, a lot more detail.

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