Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Justice, Chaos, Law (The Process)

When +Batro Noban asked me to draw up a surreal scene encompassing ancient Greek architecture, symbols of Law, Chaos, Justice, and statuary of blind justice, along with other strangeness, I thought it an impossible task. 

If you get a chance, go check out his French Kickstarter here

I will take you through the process. 

Here is the intial sketch. 
Greek Justice Sketch by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler

I was going for realism, little did I know that the client didn't want realism at all. This was sent off, and he replied that he wanted it crazier. 

Okay I can do crazy I thought. 

And, this is what came out. 

Greek Justice sketch 3 by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler

Now, I had pushed myself, here I had buildings atop of buildings, multiple statues of the blind justice from Metallica's album cover (at the commissioners request). and had gone, what I thought, pretty wild. 

Well, I was wrong. At this point the commissioner wanted it crazier, he pushed me to my weirdness limit. I do not want to come off as complaining, not in the least. Every now and again it is good to be pushed to an artistic limit, to see how you deal with it. 

The timeline was tightening, and I had to do some soul searching here. Was this something that I could even do. He wanted surreal, I had never done that before, in fact, I wasn't even sure I knew what that meant. 

I even told him that I didnt know if I was the right illustrator for the job. To his credit he persisted that I was, and that he wanted me to do the work. For this I am grateful. 

I pulled off my old head, and tried to channel some other artist within, and this is want I came up with. 

Greek Justice Sketch 3 by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler

Now, to anyone else this might have looked like a jumble of junk on paper with no rhyme or reason behind it. 

We have executioners, mad judges, Greek architecture, scales, monuments, everything jumbled up and at all angles. 

The commissioner loved it. 

I had started off by drawing a giant rectangle with a heavy emphasis on forced perspective, something I have to admit is not my strong suit, but I learned a lot. (Thanks again +Batro Noban).

Off of the rectangle I sketched in all of the objects that fit, the Greek temples, the blind justice lady, the executioner, judge, rolls of parchment, stairways to no where. You name it I added it, as long as it fit the theme. 

I was grateful that at least the concept art was done, now on to inks. 

Sidebar: Inking is unforgiving. Let me just get that off the top. Though there are some great commercial "white-out" inks (Deleter White 2 is the best on the market, but hard to find.) that you can use if a mistake is made, they are not the end all. So once inking begins it is almost impossible (via traditional means) to fix screw-ups. 

Now sure after you scan something, you can use any friendly photo or art editor and fix things up, but part of my traditional media spirit doesn't like that so much. Usually all I do is crop and format via Gimp 2.8, at the most via digital. Though I have to admit, depending on the scan, I do like to adjust contrasts (darken things up). 

Where was I, oh, yea, you probably want to see the final image. 

Well, here you go. 

Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler. Licensed 2015 Remi Teuliere.
All the elements in place, forced perspective, Greek lettering, wording, judges, executioners, blind justice, etc. Add in the border work, and all of the other interesting details like broken chains, statuary of fists, robed figures, automatons. wheeewww!

This was a big project, full 9x12 page traditional media, (without Deleter White 2, might I add)

I want to thank once again +Batro Noban for pushing me on this project. It was fun to do, very rewarding, and I think my artistic vision has improved with this project. There are so many elements to this illustration that I am proud of. And while the artists eye can pick out some of the elements that didnt turn out quite right to my eye, my hope is that you can overlook those flaws, and see this as a pretty might illo. 

May law and chaos continue to battle it out in this realm.

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome.