So I finally finished my splash page, something which I first thought about doing over two years ago when my good friend Andrew Reed gave me the idea of doing one. It didn't take me long to figure out which scene to use for the splash page, but getting it onto paper the way I wanted it, that was a task which would end up taking much longer...
The scene comes from the final chapter of my Soulless Voodoo Guy book. I thought it would be a good scene to use for a double page because it involves nine Trip characters who follow Soulless Voodoo Guy so there's plenty to draw.
I wanted to have a composition which used the space well and had detail and depth incorporating the various elements of my style. The idea is that hopefully the eye is drawn along the river, and then where it ends the furthest Trip character begins drawing your eyes back long the line of Trip's to the foreground again, and eventually back to the river.
I also wanted to make sure the terrain wasn't just flat; it needed hills to give the space some sort of dynamic and create different shadows on the land. This was also the first time I ever tried to draw tree fungus. I found it very difficult, and I didn't want to overdo it so there are juts a few small patches of it dotted around. I also drew a few leaves, not just for fun, but because they relevant to the story at this stage of the book.
The river was quite a challenge too; it's very hard getting it to look like it's flowing into the distance rather than just being flat. I wanted to ensure that it gave you that feeling of depth, and also of water flowing with the various patterns water makes when journeying down a river. I chucked in quite a few stones to give it something to go around and change the flow patterns up a bit.
As for the 9 Trip characters, I made 9 identical models out of plasticine to help me draw this scene. That's ultimately was took me so long between this and my last piece of art. I wanted to ensure that each shadow was perfectly captured, and I wanted each one to be posed differently. I also wanted a bit of interaction between them and the environment, so I have a Trip who is mid way through climbing over a fallen tree.
I think I challenged myself more on this piece of art than on anything else in my life. I'm happy with the result as it looks pretty much exactly how I'd imagine it all that time ago, even though drawing it very nearly made me crazy at several points. I do worry about how long this is all taking me, and if I'll even live long enough to finish it all. I'm a perfectionist though and it has to be right.
Listening to: Mastodon - Stargasm
Reading: Between books at the moment
Watching: The Big Bang Theory
Playing: Mario Kart Wii (occasionally)