Tuesday, November 20, 2012
"Ghosts of Departed Usurers"
My digital painting instructor loves Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". One of our assignments was to illustrate a scene from the book. We were each assigned a portion of text and I got this beautiful moment:
"The apparition walked backward from him; and at every step it took, the window raised itself a little, so that when the spectre reached it, it was wide open. It beckoned Scrooge to approach, which he did. When they were within two paces of each other, Marley’s Ghost held up its hand, warning him to come no nearer. Scrooge stopped. Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, he became sensible of confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The spectre, after listening for a moment, joined in the mournful dirge; and floated out upon the bleak, dark night. Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. He looked out. The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever."
I really wanted to make the ghosts the focal point of this illustration and have Scrooge just be a supporting element. I started with a sketch and brought it into Photoshop to clean up and color. I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out.
My biggest lesson learned? USE REFERENCE. I shot myself as reference for the foreground ghost and for scrooge poking out the window.
It sure helped solve the intricacies of those poses. So listen to your art instructors! Reference isn't cheating!