Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Avengers Project: Red in the Ledger

"This is just like Budapest all over again."
"You and I remember Budapest very differently."

Time for some more Avengers! I am pleased to announce that I have finished my next piece of the series which I have entitled Red in the Ledger, a character study of Black Widow and Hawkeye; Avengers so cool, they don't need super powers or genius brains to be a formidable force. Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton clearly have a history together and I like their professional chemistry, even if Hawkeye's character is the least developed of all the Avengers up till this point. It is a sign of good writing when in a limited amount of time you can establish characters and their relationships making them believable merely in a few scenes. We get the idea that both of them have harsh pasts, done things they aren't proud of, and are seeking some sort of redemption from it all. We also see their bond as they watch out for one another; Natasha's concern for Barton's well-being while he was under the control of Loki and Barton's ability to get past Natasha's steel exterior to her real self. In the scene when after Natasha has awakened Barton from Loki Mind Control and they talk together, Barton speaks her name gently and in a way no one else can speak to her, and she responds. It is a simple line of dialogue and very subtle, but I think it speaks volumes to their relationship. I wanted to show this bond that these characters have, being that they are in the same place, having experienced similar things.
The title is from the conversation Natasha has with Loki (one of the most interesting scenes of the movie, elusive spy vs devious demi-god), which we later find out that though it was a clever ruse to get Loki to talk, those things Loki listed so descriptively are actually quite true. Her ledger is "dripping and gushing red", and Barton is no better. Their becoming part of the Avengers is part of their seeking atonement for the things that they've done, to be able to help and save the world rather than destroy it. I'm interested in seeing where they will take these characters in the next Avengers, or if they will do much more with them than what they have now. I hope they develop them further because Barton wasn't himself for a good portion of the film! I actually wouldn't mind a whole movie about Hawkeye and Black Widow, if they did it right.

Here, then, is my Avenger's character study: Red in the Ledger.

To explain my design, I have kept with the elongated figures and movement that I began with New Element. It is part of my conceptualizing these characters, and once all these pieces of work are finished, will all be cohesive and consistent in design. I'm also sticking to dark, subtle colors that emphasize parts of the image. In this case, I stuck with the deep purple tones that make up Hawkeye's costumes, but have the red pop out against the cool hues. And since this was something I just noticed recently, you must pardon my ignorance, but on a black widow there is the red design of two touching triangles, which is what they incorporated on Black Widow's belt! I thought that was a neat way to incorporate her name sake,

Geek moment for a concept artist!
With this color symbol from the spider already a part of Natasha's character, I wanted to incorporate red as a symbol of who these characters are and what they are striving to become. Bright colors in nature, we know, is what gives away the poisonous and dangerous insects and reptiles, and so these characters are. They are dangerous and untrustworthy. Yet as the title suggests, it is this "red", in "marking" them like a scarlet letter, that entraps them. Like a spider weaving a web, these characters have woven webs in their own lives from which they seek freedom. This is also why I have the background a swirling mass of webs, to bring home this point. I also have designed it so that Black Widow and Hawkeye's bodies sort of flow together as one unit. With the monochromatic purples, I wanted their bodies to flow and read as one as your eye moves across and around the composition; the "red" being the starting point. 

Here is a closer look:

Next on my list for this project series is Loki, so I'm excited to get to work on his, being that he is one of the most interesting villains in cinema. I hope you enjoyed this piece.

"Why am I back? How'd you get him out?"
"Cognitive re-calibration. I hit you really hard in the head."

1 comment:

  1. Amazing as usual! Love the depth you went into on these characters using the red in the ledger as a symbol. So good! I want a Hawkeye/Black Widow movie too. I hope that's a possibility!