Troll Time

Troll Time

Well, thank goodness for friends. After showing my previous drawing (here) of this scene to some comrades, it was justly pointed out to me that there were some holes in the work. So, as the saying goes, back to the drawing board. I feel better for the revisit, the piece is stronger and should communicate more easily.

What happened? Well, for one reason or another many people kept pointing towards the lower left corner of the image. It seemed there was a visual leak there. My solution was to revisit it, and more closely observe the troll and his clothes and hand gesture. It need further resolution to become more believable. After all, who wants an unbelievable crabby fantasy character?!

Probably the biggest change that was made was to the Troll Hole. Compositionally it needed something to help keep the eye flowing around, whereas before the eye flow would get stuck there, or worse yet, leave. Also, I wanted to put something between the viewer and the troll, while leaving the space in front of our little Elven heroine open. The reason is that I want the viewer to easily identify with her, this means that there are no visual obstructions between her and the viewer. Now, the opposite is true for our Troll. I didn’t want people to “get too close” to him. The solution came about as a leafy stump and rocks.
This technique is often employed in movies. Where I first became aware of this was in the opening sequence to “Raging Bull.” There we see the main character in the ring, shadow boxing (metaphor please!,) but the camera/ viewer is always outside the ring, there is a constant visual barrier, which also reminds us of a bars on a cell or cage (Foreshadowing Metaphor Please!) Check it out for yourselves: Raging Opening Sequence.Here, through the magic of Photoshop and tissue paper, is the final drawing. The next step is to work up a color comp. I’ll still use the value scheme from before. Turns out there are many mico-decisions that are made in the creation of a narrative piece of illustration, and these are just a few. Enjoy!

PS: there are a whopping 8 posts that chronicle the creation of this piece, to see the next moves check out Post #3: All Trolls on Board
to see the previous post about this image go to Post #1: Fantasy Series

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Watercolor Process