“Up the Hill” – Caption Contest #1

Books used to have these great little etchings and color plates in them, especially adventure books like Huckleberry Finn and Robinson Crusoe.  Often there would only be one every twenty pages or so: fantastic black-and white line drawings with spectacular cross-hatching, or those shiny ‘plates’ – pages of higher-quality paper printed in vivid color and barely attached to the book with a little bit of ancient, cracking glue.

Even better, though, were the lavishly illustrated volumes of fairy tales.  In any form, these pictures usually would have a caption underneath them.  It might be a quote from the text, or a synopsis of the scene depicted.

This is your chance to write one of those captions for the illustration below.  Just click on the ”comments are encouraged” button below and send in your suggestion.  I’ll announce my favorite, and attach it to the picture once at leave six comments have been submitted.

Suggest a caption -or- write a story synopsis by clicking ‘comments’ below.

This picture is really begging for a good, juicy caption to describe or further add to the intrigue of the scene.  The illustration was inspired by a bronze statue from Hellenic period Greece.  It was one of many bronzes in an art book, and just had this great movement going on.

That figure formed the jumping-off point.  The beckoning finger and haunted expression of the sculpture seemed really mysterious, so I crafted a scene around it, not really having a story in mind.  Feel free to make one up.

It turned out that the finger which was so central to the interest, was not a finger at all.  On closer inspection, it became apparent the original bronze had been damaged, and what seemed like a crooked finger was actually part of something the boy had been holding in his clenched fist, like a spear or something.

It doesn’t really matter.  Copying the original was never the point.  The position of the leg on the right was completely altered, also.  Some aspects of this watercolor turned out very nicely, while others leave a bit to be desired….

Meets or Exceeds Expectations:

  1. The pattern that makes up the tree trunk is cool, especially on the roots.
  2. The pose of the boy is full of tension and dynamic angles.  The over-all anatomy ain’t bad, either.
  3. The leaves: just one of those fun details.
  4. The sky and cloudburst on the left appear pretty vibrant in this photo.  The contrast between the fair weather and questionable action is nice.
  5. Ambiguity.  The ambiguity of the whole scene, in addition to the two characters’ ambivalent expressions allows for interpretation on the part of the viewer.

Needs Improvement:

  1. The colors are a bit “dead”.  This is where the use of low-quality watercolors begins to be a liability.
  2. Same goes for the paper.  It’s a bit less apparent in the digital reproduction, but there are passages where the paper already started to rub off from ‘overworking’ even though it really wasn’t overworked.
  3. The anatomy of the right-hand character (near shoulder, esp) could have been studied more closely.  It’s not as accurate as the younger character’s.

So you’ve heard what I thought about this piece, now I want to hear from you.  Submit your captions below!  All other comments are welcome, too, as usual.

This entry was published on August 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm. It’s filed under Animals, Figures, Watercolors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on ““Up the Hill” – Caption Contest #1

  1. Pingback: Lurid Noir « Gabriel Garbow | Artworks

  2. Pingback: Set Adrift « Gabriel Garbow | Artworks

  3. This isn’t the best caption, but I think I see, “Shhhh! I found him!” Two things that come to mind with this painting…Playing hide and go seek and The Hobbit. Not sure if The Hobbit is stuck in my head after our upcoming movie conversation this weekend at Rachel’s…so excited for that one! 🙂

    • I’m so excited for the Hobbit. I did a vast number of illustrations for a school book project for the Lord of the Rings in high school. I also did a lot of drawings just for the fun of it. So, I’ll take that association as a compliment.

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