Monday, January 11, 2010

Horace in the Big City

This summer, when I was struggling to think up things to draw (to stay in shape for the upcoming semester), I turned to a story I'd written in a fiction writing class junior year. It was called "Horace in the Big City" (if you care that much, you can read it here. In case you're not reading it, the story is about a short man, Horace, with a pretty severe inferiority complex. He hates everything that is large or tall, etc. The story starts with him running around in a city that is just completely on fire, before he is saved, against his will, by a massive firefighter (Shaq-sized). By the end we learn that Horace had started the fire. So, I endeavored to draw Horace being saved by the firefighter amidst the burning city.

This process mostly demonstrates my normal working process: I started with a really rough, basic sketch. Then I fleshed it out and made some finished looking linework.

Next, I added the color flats. With these, I just put them down in any color and then use the Hue/Saturation adjustments tool to change them later. This process included the addition of shadows (a semi-transparent layer).

And then came my favorite part...layering on the texture!

For a little while, I thought I was done. However, upon going back and re-examining it, I felt that I wanted a whole lot more context. The story's main characters are not just Horace and the firefighter; there is a third character - the fire. So I decided to rework the composition to include more fire, and more destruction.

There. Now I'm satisfied. I removed the shadows, thickened the linework on Horace and the firefighter, and added a whole mess of fire and melting buildings. It's a shame that so much of the time I spent investing into the details on the two people didn't appear in the final product (the shadows, the tiny wrinkles and buttons, etc), but that's just part of the process.

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