Thursday, July 19, 2012

Low Whisper

     As I have been trying to finish the last two pages of my five page goal for my graphic novel, I decided to take a break and do something where I could just play with shading and form. A friend of mine had asked me, after I had posted my blog Four Sketches in Movement and Metaphor, if I was going to develop those four sketches any further into more realized works of art. I hadn't planned on doing that, but after he asked, I thought it might be kind of fun to develop the sketches further. I don't know if I will do the rest of them, but I have one here that I did. It is Low Whisper. While I was sketching it, I kept in mind the mood and symbolism of the piece that I had discussed before, and then let myself sketch wherever I willed. It was an experiment in itself because I didn't know if I wanted to do it in pencil or make it a pen sketch. As the sketch went on, I ended up incorporating some pen techniques and lines, while keeping the pencil shading. Once I had finished with it, I was reminded of Japanese woodblock prints of the 19th century; Katsushika Hokusai being one of the most famous artist of that style. I had not intended this while I was drawing, but it came to me afterwards. I find that I am very much influenced by asian art in general, though I do not look at it quite as often as I have done other styles of art (and if I do it is mostly work by Amano or Manga artists), which I find to be an interesting observation as I have been developing my work. Another person that came to my mind (someone I love to be influenced by), is Arthur Rackham, the early 20th Century illustrator of many books and stories ranging from Shakespeare to Alice in Wonderland and fairytales to Richard Wagner's works. I simply adore his artwork, and strangely enough, his work also derives influences from Japanese woodblocks. So, I was rather fascinated by all of this and something I should keep in mind as I continue to create my works.

     Here are some works by both artists to look at for compare and contrast.

The Great Wave by Hokusai 

Naruto Whirlpool by Hokusai
The lines of the waves are simply beautiful in this one.

The Waterfall of Amida Behind the Kiso Road by Hokusai
I love the movement of this piece. Once again, abstract, but just the right
amount of detail to get the impression of water and landscape. 
This is simply gorgeous!

Undine by Arthur Rackham
I could choose so many works of his. I love them all! However, I chose two that you 
can really see the influence of the Japanese woodcut. This image has always
been one of my favorites. Love the movement and the lines!

Undine by Arthur Rackham
This is another illustration from the tale of Undine, a water spirit. I love the
feel of the wind running through his dress and hair and the wildness it
creates coupled with her mischievous face. Arthur Rackham is certainly
one of the greatest illustrators ever!

Low Whisper

     There has been some notable differences between this one and the first sketch:

     As you can see, I decided to use his clothing and cloak to develop that movement rather than his body. I have also organized the line work to be more intentional in their placement and where they are drawing the eye. This image is supposed to reflect quietness and sacredness, and so the shading and line work of his clothes and of the cave flow together like water. Water is something I was thinking of while I was studying the line work I was doing and to me it is best to reflect that serenity I am trying to capture. It flows in unison and creates soft, beautiful curves. As for the cave, I have made it seem like it could be made out of ice or crystal to keep with the "water theme" of the piece and the fluidity. It has that stillness of atmosphere and that feeling of pervading hush. 
    Again, I do not know if I will do the rest of the sketches, but this was fun to draw and to experiment with. Enjoy! 

"And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave."
1 Kings 19:11-13


  1. Fabulous as usual and I love your inspiration art choices! I really like the improvement and growth to this picture and I can't wait to see the full graphic novel, eek! :-D

  2. I didn't know there was another great wave! The second one looks considerably more frantic!