This week’s illustration theme on is “Myth”.
I was really into Greek myths as a kid, and loved lots of sci-fi / fantasy books. Perhaps because of this, the week’s topic was almost too overwhelming to tackle.
The finished work captures the feel of the sketch perfectly:
The idea was to portray how different people espouse different sets of myths. The hardest part was deciding which figures to use to represent the various beliefs. There are so many out there; so many ways to approach the subject. To the unbelieving, religions are myths, and then there are the ones that nobody truly believes.
The coyote is representing the more sacred belief systems, while the fairy and the dragon are a bit more fanciful. Originally, the three were supposed to cover at least three continents-worth of mythology, but the dragon ended up looking much more in the European tradition than the Chinese, like I’d intended.
The scene is meant to depict a group of guys, one of whom is getting really swept up in whatever story he’s telling – sweeping his arms to illustrate the breadth of what he’s saying. Meanwhile, the other two listen with some detachment. They have their own favorite tales, after all. The redhead is shrugging almost apologetically.
They are all surrounded by the visual embodiments of their tales. The creatures are drawn in a different style – in a more direct application of line, with less detail and looser anatomy. They are also in a different color. Part of the purpose in drawing them this was just for the fun of drawing in two styles. Part of it was to make it clear that they’re not really conjuring beasts, just imagining them.
The line-work on both the boys and the creatures was done in an initial color (deep brown and purple) then some dodge-and-burn effects were applied to give them a pulsating range of colors. This same treatment was used a couple of weeks ago on “New Skin” as well.
My main gripe about this piece is the coloring. I may find time to start from scratch and see if I can do better. The muted scheme and the overall “mauve” palette is almost oppressive. It’s still a pretty good piece, and it’s taught me a few lessons about what to do, and what not to do next time. Please let me know what YOU think works, and what you’re less fond about.