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From Concept to Execution
Going through my old sketchbooks and folders, I was amused to come upon some old thumbnail sketches for my drawings/paintings. In revisiting them, it is interesting to note how much the final pictures have managed to morph from the starting concepts. A short discussion follows concerning some choices made.
(ignore the tiled Chinese roof; it was a study for another picture)
Which eventually became the pointilism horror:
Quite why anyone would want to draw a jungle of Myxobacteria is anybody’s guess; but I wanted a composition that wasn’t blindly copied from the multitude of SEM photographs I used as reference. In the end, I didn’t quite go with the looming fruiting body compo because I wanted to show the ‘floor’ of the jungle, and had no idea how to go about it at such a low camera angle.
Three initial studies that would eventually become:
I ultimately changed the camera angle because I thought Feuilly’s face in profile would be best suited for light pouring in through the open window, AND show more of his work than was possible for any of the three initial sketches. (And that second pose was way too goofy for anybody’s good).
And perhaps the mother of all in-progress changes:
Which ultimately became:
The original idea was to have Shepard framed by the twin blue ‘Control’ beams, with illumination from the beam from the Conduit, with the Citadel’s spread arms as a backdrop. The idea grew increasingly hideous as inking progressed, however, to the extent that the project was junked for some time — until I decided to scrap everything except Shepard and the Reaper, since the whole idea was to show who or what the Priority missions and the Control Ending affected, and make use of an art deco-ish frame (which included a stylised Systems Alliance seal, and the Normandy’s wings, since the arch was suggestive of the ship’s shape) for the lot. Even then, the head positions of Wrex/Garrus/Legion/Tali (as representatives of the four most affected races, and paired to show the Krogan-Turian and Geth-Quarian conflicts) were changed from bowed to lifted towards the end because I realised the former pose might suggest “guilt”, when what I actually had in mind was more of “salvation”. (Imagining Shepard to be a cross between “God” and “Big Brother”…).