Monday, May 27, 2013

Been Sick

...real sick. Hope to post an update soon.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Conan Montage pt.6

The little drawings in the poster are simple by themselves but collectively should add up to a neat poster, I hope. I'm taking liberties mixing quotes with visual elements, and at first they might not make sense together. The finished product should bring it all home.

The Tree of Woe

Wheel of Pain Necklace

Studies for Conan as King. 
Too many details in the first one but my wife digs it. ;)

The layout of the second one is shamelessly ripped off from Patricia Smith.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Conan Montage pt. 5

The shape of the Doom symbol should be easy to correct now, and there's a lot more ink down. The Wheel of Pain necklace is now on the left. Look closely at the rod of the right-hand tapestry and you can see the animal faces from the wheel. I might not incorporate the anvil idea.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kein Witz

Practicing some loose blackletter before bed. Very loose...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dymaxion Map/Merlin's Dragon

"Shall I tell you what's out there? The Dragon. A beast of such power that if you were to see it whole and complete in a single glance it would burn you to cinders. It is everywhere. It is everything. Its scales glisten in the bark of trees. Its roar is heard in the wind. And its forked tongue strikes lightning. Yes, that's it."

"I once stood exposed to the Dragon's Breath so that a man could lie one night with a woman. It took me nine moons to recover."

It is impossible to render a map of our world (or any round object) onto a two-dimensional surface without some amount of distortion. Depending on which projection you use, distance and area will be elongated at the poles or in other places. I'm fond of the Dymaxion projection because it not only minimizes distortion and keeps all land masses uncut, it also shows the world as a basically connected, almost single shape. As a plus it suggests the shape of a dragon in flight, breathing out a plume of smoke or mist!

Interesting to think of the movie Excalibur when viewing this map. The Dragon's breath is presented as something that can freeze people or can create a bridge over waters. In the map, the "dragon's breath" is frozen Antarctica.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Conan Montage Pt.4

Thinking about the shape of the Doom symbol. The one in this poster is not like the red and black symbol shown during the credits. But contrary to memory, there is no single standard; there are many variant symbols in the movie.

A - Battle standard. There is a variant of this one with bells and hair (scalps?).
B - Thulsa Doom wears a snake amulet on an elaborate chain; the amulet looks very similar to the one worn by the princess, but they are different.
C - The symbol above Doom's nook in the Mountain of Power.
D - Rexor's leather armor worn during the raid has a double snake motif sewn onto it.
E - Rexor wears an amulet unlike Doom's other priests during the Tower of Set scene. In later scenes, he wears the other kind (H - presumably because this one got caught in his hair/face during the action?)
F - The symbol on Rexor's headpiece is the same shape as Doom's.
G - Guards at the Mountain of Power have a unique symbol on their breastplates and shields.
H - Priests and servants of Doom wear an amulet like this one.
I - The jade amulet found in the Tower of Set.
J - The princess wears a unique amulet.

A - Symbol shown when the credits roll. This exact symbol is never seen in the movie.
B - Thulsa Doom's shield. Close to A but not exact.
C - Shields and tridents of Doom's guards bear different snake symbols.
D-H - Production drawings.

If you watch closely, there are many more variations in the movie. But most of them have either the shape of a W (or lower-case Omega) or an O. I might adjust the poster to better imitate shield B or D.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Conan Montage pt. 3

Made a severe calligraphy mistake tonight that will have to be completely pasted over. Also discovered that this knockoff artboard is much weaker than bristol board and can only take about one harsh erasing before it falls apart. But still I am excited and hate to stop to go to bed.

Lizard on a stick. FRESH.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Inking vs. Sleeping

Hate to stop at this stage. But with most of the ink down I can now see how painfully low the weight of the page will be if I don't change something. Thulsa Doom's symbol has many varieties; I'd chosen one without the crescent moon, and adding the moon back in has dramatically shifted the balance. Have to choose now whether to start over or add something to counter it.

Conan Montage pt. 2.1

Taking mountainous Anvil of Crom from pencil to ink is testing my grasp of light...and I need to study Japanese clouds a bit (or not do them that way).

Pumpkin Photo Set


These were taken last November (2012) in North Georgia. 41 pix, half rotting and half whole. I just said half whole.

Conan Montage Pt. 2 - The Anvil of Crom

I repeat: "Never show a work in progress!"

"The Anvil of Crom" was a piece of music composed for the 1982 Conan movie. Most likely it's the one you are thinking of right now, if you saw it. It inspired me to design some element for the montage.

At first I was thinking that the entire poster would be only calligraphy and silhouettes, and though an anvil does have an unmistakable shape, it's not that imposing by itself. So I tried to design something worthy of Crom.

The one above was what I'd settled on, as it echoes the mantra of flesh being stronger than steel. An idea for a hammer also came to me:

And I thought great, awesome, ready for ink. But then I got inspired by this incredible photograph:

And now my little anvil man looks a tad puny. Nevermind that in real life few men would be strong enough to lift it, this has to be an anvil worthy of Crom! So now I'm thinking something more like this:

Except that will be a difficult thing to simplify into the very plain sort of shapes I had in mind for this montage.

What to do, what to do.

Conan Montage Pt. 1

"Never show a work in progress"

The montage will be 18x24 and will focus on the Riddle of Steel from the 1982 Conan movie but will incorporate other elements from the genre. The illustrations will primarily be silhouette and simple b/w drawings. The finished product will have at least 10 quotes and over 30 elements and motifs:

Top left
Border: Conan's father's belt pattern. Text: "This you can trust" etc.

Bottom left
Border: Doom priest hood pattern + Lizard on a stick (fresh!) Text: "Time enough for the earth in the gave" Conan fighting wolves/cutaway of Atlantean tomb.

Top right
Border: Mother's tunic pattern. Text: "Crom laughs at your four winds"

Bottom right
Border: Runic text as from Father's Sword (But text will be Genghis Khan quote). Text: For us there is no spring" etc Inset: Subotai chained (Dinner for wolves)

Symbol of Doom + Wheel of Pain. Shape of snake heads are likely to change. Text overlay is the riddle of steel. In sun area of Doom symbol, Conan and children being led away from village. In moon area, King Osric quote re: a father's love.

Left tapestry: Endcaps of rod are 5-point pit fighter knives.

Right tapestry: Endcaps of rod are Wheel of Pain animal faces.

Axe on left, Thorgrim's hammer on right.

Wenches in 4 corners (clockwise from top left: belly dancer, captive princess, entranced Doom acolyte, ?

Wizard bottom left, elephant god bottom right. Tree of woe between top right and bottom right. Anvil of Crom between top left and bottom left. Above the Doom symbol I might add calligraphy or a horned helmet.

Here are some plans and studies made before starting.