Since I wasn't able to finish like I wanted, I shall post some more of my study drawings. One of the reasons I wasn't able to finish in time was because the concept for the wicked King of Israel, King Ahab, wasn't coming to my mind. I didn't know what he was going to look like at all. I didn't want to make him look like a typical bad guy, with a sneering, deceitful face and dark countenance, yet King Ahab was one of the most wicked kings of Israel and was highly selfish, so that needed to show in his appearance. I went to Scripture and read other accounts of King Ahab that would better flesh out his personality for me. He was a man who was in all accounts arrogant and willful, but he was also easily manipulated by his wife, Jezebel. He was childish in behavior more than anything, not always intending to do evil and abuse his power, but ran with his passions and desires. One of the stories that more accurately represented him, was a story of when he desired a vineyard next to his palace that was owned by a man named Naboth. He offered money and an even greater vineyard to Naboth in exchange for this vineyard, but Naboth refused to give up the land of his inheritance. This threw Ahab into a mood and it says that he laid in his room without eating. His wife asked him what was ailing him, and he told her of Naboth's refusal. Jezebel asked him, did he not govern Israel? And then proceeded to tell him that she will get him the vineyard. In her craftiness, Jezebel brought forth false witnesses to testify against Naboth that he had cursed God and King, and then had him stoned to death. King Ahab was then free to take the vineyard, which he did without hesitation.
I thought this was a perfect picture of who King Ahab was, a man that Scriptures describes as there being "none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited." He wasn't ruthless enough to take Naboth's vineyard by force or cunning enough to do what his wife did, but he is selfish enough to enjoy what is not his own at the cost of a life and hedonistic enough to sell himself to every sort of evil.
The above sketches were my first sketches of King Ahab. The head sketch I thought was much too regal and dignified for King Ahab, but the second one was something closer to what I was envisioning. At this point of my sketching, I was reminded of the actor Chris Hemsworth. Maybe it was just because I had recently watched Snow White and the Huntsmen, but Hemsworth seemed to be very good inspiration for my verison of King Ahab.
I wanted King Ahab to be handsome and exhibit the kingship. He is royalty after all. Chris Hemsworth, who plays the demi-god Thor, certainly exhibits that regality and power. Again, though, I didn't want Ahab to be too dignified.
This is my final sketch of King Ahab where I achieved the concept I was going for. I wanted him to be impressive, but have all the pettiness of his character and behavior evident as well. This is based after the above story, so he is sitting his room bemoaning that fact that he cannot have Naboth's vineyard. Haha.
Another important aspect of Ahab is his clothing. I discovered that it is extremely difficult to get any historically accurate visuals of what they would have worn in Israel during the 9th century. A lot of the pictures show very Babylonian-esque clothing styles, so I more or less stuck with that. I didn't want it to be too showy and gaudy, just rich and elegant enough to express his kingship. I wanted Ahab's persona to put forth his station rather than his clothing. Another decision I made was not to give him any sort of headdress or crown. The Babylonian styled headdress looked rather ridiculous to my taste and overdone, which would have made him rather comical in my opinion. Instead, I decided to make his hair be more like his "crown". It is jet black, lose, and neatly styled.
My final sketch is of the other antagonists, the false prophets of Baal and Asherah. I wanted them to be indistinct as individuals, but together would exhibit the opposing force against Elijah. In this sketch I accentuated the figure and added loose lines because my concepts for the false prophets are something that I would describe as smoke and contortion, being that their ritualistic practice of cutting themselves is how they call on their gods. They would be full of zealousness and exaggeration, dramatization and intimidation; making a show of achieving power and ultimate worship, but gaining absolutely nothing. They would then become almost non-human, dissolving faceless into their masochistic worship.
It is the only sketch I have done of the false prophet concept, but I thought it achieved what I was wanting.
That is all I have for right now, but again, God willing, I will have some work from my actual graphic novel to show. There are even changes to the cover design that I will doing as well. So, enjoy these sketches and I will have more coming soon!