The text inspired the picture. It is actually taken from a book called 'The Battle of Dorking' - an early example of 'invasion literature' and certainly available to H G Wells pre writing of 'War of the Worlds' - so the picture is a kind of homage to his imagination (what I like to think came to mind when reading it). Other than that, alot of artistic license with all elements of the picture - there is a fine tradition with 'pulp-ish' illustration and literature of getting the historical/cultural/technical details a bit mixed up (often wrong) - at least, that is my excuse! Thanks for looking.
Jul 5, 2008 5:12:00 amby mmitchell_houston Homepage »
I love the color scheme and aging effects -- they really look like an image pulled from an old boys adventure story. I'm also very pleased with the various painting effects you used, particularly on the arms and back of the central soldier -- and thank you for ignoring the details like the seam between his buttocks and any back pockets, as they would not fit the style and would be very distracting in this scene. And, by the way, I really like that you made them shirtless. Aside from helping convey that this is hot, sweaty work, it also serves to let you bring in another set of colors. So, instead of getting more olive drab, we get a little skin which really helps anchor this image. Also, the arrangement of the tripods is very dramatic, as are the smoke effects. I can really get a sense of heat, smoke, and danger… like Markhirst, I’m hearing the music of Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds” as I look at this (and, coincidentally, that CD is on my desk right now!). The composition is really the one area that troubles me. Whereas cluttered composition can sometimes help convey a sense of urgency and chaos, in this case it just seems to put certain elements of the image at odds with each other. One tiny element that seems out of place is the second canon that’s framed by the soldier in the vest. It’s so small and the black just seems to come out of his vest – at first I thought he had a third arm, or it was something being held by the man holding his ears. It just doesn’t help the composition, and in a way it diminishes the urgent feeling that these guys may be our last hope because the stand alone. Most of all, though, it’s just a distraction. The next distraction is the guy holding his ears. I really like what he’s doing because it evokes a sense of sound in this silent medium, but his skin blends in with the soldier in the vest, making the two of them unnecessarily confusing. Perhaps he could be moved up just a bit, or slightly to our left? Then there’s the vest itself. Part of me likes it because it just seems realistic (and I love that you’ve got him wearing his helmet!), but the dark color makes it blend in a bit too much into the background. I honestly cannot say whether him being shirtless would add balance to the image or whether it would shift our focus too much away from the central soldier… At any rate, you know how I like to ramble on. I’m VERY intrigued by this image and think you did a top-notch job bringing a scene from the novel (and the audio CD!) to life. Everything from the distant tree line to the smoky brown haze in the foreground and your expert paper aging effects combine to tell a tale with economy and grace. Thanks again for sharing your work with us!
Jul 13, 2008 1:45:31 amby strayrider Homepage »
Just another of many fantastic renderings ... my only gripe would be that there is no sense of desperation with the artillery crew ... it's almost like they're miles away from the action, instead of it it being "right in they're faces" ... these guys should be screaming and sweating, the guy wearing the helmet might be shouting something like "On target ... the breech ... open the breech!!!" ... of course, my idea of "desperation" might vary from that of others ...