Saturday, December 29, 2012

Not By Bread Alone

And the word of the LORD came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
1 Kings 17:2-6

We are coming upon the new year, and I thought I would do one last post before 2012 is ended. It is a piece that I was inspired to do based on my graphic novel Elijah. I haven't been able to do much on my graphic novel for various reasons, but the past couple of weeks I've gone back to my ideas and began brainstorming and working on it. Thankfully, I was able to solve some problems I was running into which lead to me be inspired to take it up again. So, God willing, it is my full intention to really pursue my graphic novel in 2013 and to see if I can finish it within the year. It would be so exciting if I could! For now, I have this piece which I've entitled Not By Bread Alone. Keeping with my inspiration from Amano, I came up with this character piece of Elijah  of the scene where he is being fed by God through ravens at the brook Cherith.

With the movement and the abstraction of the composition, I wanted to achieve a feeling of suspension and serenity considering the scene being depicted. The word of the Lord has come to Elijah to keep himself hidden from King Ahab for a time. There the Lord, by His grace and power, sustains and protects His servant by the brook and the ravens. The surrealistic quality of the water, ravens, and Elijah flowing as one element creates that ethereal atmosphere of a prophet being fed by his God. For it is not merely the physical needs that are being met, but that through this miraculous act of ravens, it shows that it is not by bread alone that we are to live, but by the Word of the Lord; for it was by the word of the Lord that these ravens had come.

It might look as if I had done this image in pen to create the line work, but I actually did this piece all in pencil first. The shading of the ravens behind him and all the lines are pencil work. I then went into Photoshop and did the rest of the coloring and manipulation there. I actually love a lot of the techniques that are used for pen, but I've never been able to get used to the pen itself. So, lately I've been using pen techniques with my pencil work, and have been pleased with the results. As for this piece, I wanted to use those pen techniques to achieve that two-dimensional look. This is a lot like the Japanese woodblock prints that I've discussed before on this blog, but with the texture I've added and the coloring, I've also noticed that it is like the medieval illuminated manuscripts as well. The golden hue of this piece has that glow of the gold leaf that the monks used in their manuscripts at the time to achieve that feeling of the heavenlies. The art of illuminated manuscripts, just like with Art Nouveau, is always there subtly influencing my work.

Well, this is a short post, but as I said, I hope to be posting progress on my graphic novel soon. I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

But he answered,
   “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, 
          but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4