Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cumaean Sibyl, Revised

UPDATE: I can't leave things alone. Simplified considerably. I think it's stronger for it too.

I revised this illustration a bit – original here. The scales are prettier and less cartoonish.

As envisioned by Gene Wolfe:

"As I had suspected, the Cumaean was not a woman at all; yet neither was it one of the horrors I had beheld in the gardens of the House Absolute. Something sleekly reptilian coiled about the glowing rod. I looked for the head and found none, though each of the patternings on the reptile's back was a face, and the eyes of each face seemed lost in rapture." Gene Wolfe, 'The Claw of the Conciliator'

This beautifully written description creeped me out: I just had to illustrate it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ant Monastery Revised

Third update: more background, revised some plants, added an ant, added perspective to house, moved whole rock down to dip into water, revised waterfall, changed water below.

Second update: Changed the rocks.

Update: changed optics of glass egg: better I think.

I confess I preferred my pencil sketch to my final, so I tweaked the proportions of the glass egg. I also replaced the clouds and played up the rock texture (lots of dodging and burning). I like it much better that the old one.

Pencil sketch:


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Portrait of Greg Ewald

Update: Did a good bit of tweaking to lots of elements, toned down some colors, darkened sky and landscape. Update 2: added an integral matte to improve appearance.

Wireframe view of head:

My long time college friend passed away last March. I have been working on a portrait to commemorate him since May of that year... Put it away for a while, came back to it. I am pretty pleased with it overall. Lots of symbols from Greg's life and work, as well as some favorite obsessions. The tornado is for his brief stint on Oklahoma, when a twister took all of his art, and almost, his life. The gateway on the hill was a favorite motif of Greg's, poorly imitated by me here. Cthulhu himself is appearing out of the rain and mist. The giant tentacle and the orca are for Greg's love of sea life, especially cephalopoda. The black wolf chasing the little girl is for his obsession with La Bete, a legendary French monster, kind of like the ultimate Big Bad Wolf. He always meant to visit France and do research on the stories. The skull and flower are for a painting he did. The clown is Pennywise from Stephen King's 'IT.' The airship is for Steampunk, a more recent enthusiasm of Greg's and the gasbag is shaped (probably inaccurately) like a cichlid, on of Greg's favorite fish groups.  The snake is for one of his favorite painting motifs, a snake (always meticulously accurate, unlike mine), twined in tree branches. The hills of Sedona are in the background, one of Greg's favorite places.

Here's a link to download the high resolution image.