Thursday, 10 December 2009
There's a Lion in my Bathroom - sketches 15
And finally..."Chuck the Shark." Poor old Hammerhead Chuck is picked on by the callous shrimps and squid because of the shape of his head. Even Snorky the limping shrimp joins in, you think he'd know better than that about what it feels like to be an outsider. Still the bullies get their just desserts as along comes a trawler net and scoops them all up. Lucky for them Chuck has a forgiving nature (and sharp teeth) because he comes to the rescue and the shrimps and squid learn a valuable lesson.
This one took a little longer to complete than I expected. The look of Chuck came pretty quickly. In fact the shark design I used on sheet 2 was only my third scribble in the sketch book... normally I waste at least a couple of pages worth before I get a sniff of a direction to go in! Of course I then went around the houses trying out more geometric designs for the head (ala version 3) before I decided what I had originally would be OK. What really took the time was all the secondary characters. I originally thought I could interpret the text in such a way as to have a whole collection of interesting sea creatures to fill the net (see the last sheet). I did try the layout from version two, filling the net with lots of different characters, but it really didn't read clearly enough. Besides that I reread the text a few times and it dawned on me I really shouldn't be using any creatures other than the squid and shrimps. Next came many shrimp and squid sketches (both happy/evil and also sad. Luckily I'd got my shrimp sketch eye in previously with Snorky, and surprisingly, shrimp are quite relaxing to draw on mass. The squid tentacles can run away with you if you're not careful but they are a lot of fun too. On a related note, while gathering image reference for the squid I happened upon pictures of FLYING SQUID... who knew...?! Isn't natural history a constant marvel! Anyway, back to my waffle... I ended up with more squid and shrimp than I needed as, when it came down to populating the net and Chuck's surroundings I felt I should keep the bullies fairly large so they read clearly at size. Enough said! So that wraps it up for the initial sketch work on the book. Hopefully feedback will be positive and I'll start on the final illustrations come the new year.