Friday, June 10, 2011

Illustration: Much Ado About Nothing

This is not a new illustration, rather, it's from June 2009. I'm in the process of updating my website, and this has lost its place in my official colour portfolio so that the number of pictures is kept to a manageable size. But I still like it, and it's not posted anywhere else, so I thought I'd blog it. 

It's an illustration for Act 3 Scene 1 of Much Ado About Nothing, which is one of my favourite of Shakespeare's plays. Hero and Ursula are gossiping especially so that Beatrice can overhear them.

"Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing of the false sweet bait that we lay for it – No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful."

I liked my original sketch for this better than the finished piece; I love the colours, but the characters lost something during the inking phase.

And here's a companion piece for Act 2 Scene 1, which is remaining in my black and white portfolio for now. But they do go together, so I'm adding it to the post. This time it's witty banter at the party:

"Will you have me, my lady?"
"No, my Lord, unless I might have another for working-days; Your grace is too costly to wear every day."

Two years before I did these pieces, I'd done a set of four posters on Shakespearean quotes for an educational publisher. Most of them were modern in theme, and they were very text-heavy, which was challenging. I think I ended up doing these illustrations more so I could have a chance to do Shakespearean pictures with proper costumes (and to prove that I understood the plays well enough for illustration purposes) than anything. 

Act 3 was inked on bristol board with sepia ink and a dip pen, and painted with Winsor & Newton watercolours and Prismacolour pencils.
Act 2 is graphite on Quill sketching paper. 

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