Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Impressions of Ereth

Joe Sutphin left a comment after the last post: “I got a good look at [Poppy and Ereth] and it appears that you have developed a new technique not used in the other Poppy books for hairs and whiskers. it looks as if you did some scraping to the paper surface before the rendering to create white ruts, is that correct?” Good eye, Joe, and you’re exactly right. After my last foray into porcupine research I gained a new appreciation for just how bristly the guys are. They’ve got not just the famous quills, but also lots of unruly hairs of various shades sticking out this way and that. I was trying to get a little more of that into my drawings of Ereth, and on a whim I impressed a few lines into a drawing-in-progress with the pointy end of a clay carving tool. (I chose a clay carving tool because one was nearby.) The impressed line stayed white when I shaded over it, and I ended up with the effect you see above. I was wary of changing the look of Ereth and the drawings too much in this the last book, but this seemed subtle enough not to be disruptive, and I liked the effect, and the new technique also gave me something a little new and interesting to think about, and I liked that, too. Thanks for noticing and for the question, Joe!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, no problem!
I actually love seeing new things happen in art and this is that kind of technique that I think a lot of people would never notice because it is so subtle. its the kind of fun technique that we learn as kids, that makes art fun, but then we get sophisticated and loose that side of us that is okay with scratching the paper under an illustration.
I like the way it made for scratchy skin in the bats' wings too. I have always been floored by how much effort you would put into drawing "around" whiskers, so i imagine this was a welcome change on your behalf!
Thanks for the response Brian.