Friday, July 31, 2015

Illustration: Jane Eyre

This started out as just a sketch, as my default for 'what should I sketch?' is 'Whatever I am reading and/or listening to at the moment' but I liked how it was going, and just kept plugging away at it.

In case you couldn't tell, 'what I was listening to' was Jane Eyre, which was my new audiobook this month, read by the always-fabulous Juliet Stevenson. I'd probably be quite happy if she read all of my audiobooks. 

I'm not entirely sure exactly when Jane Eyre is set. According to the end of the book, it should be set mainly in around 1837-38, but the descriptions of clothes and hairstyles could, at various times, be anywhere in the 40 years before that and at one point she mentions Marmion as a 'new publication' - and that was published in 1808. So I plumped for somewhere in the middle and went with a vague date in the 1820s.

The scene I chose for my sketching was Jane's wedding to Mr Rochester - it is not going well. Plenty of excuse for Drama and Lighting. 

“That—if a genuine document—may prove I have been married, but it does not prove that the woman mentioned therein as my wife is still living.”
“She was living three months ago,” returned the lawyer.
“How do you know?”
“I have a witness to the fact, whose testimony even you, sir, will scarcely controvert.”
“Produce him—or go to hell.”
“I will produce him first—he is on the spot.  Mr. Mason, have the goodness to step forward.”
Mr. Rochester, on hearing the name, set his teeth; he experienced, too, a sort of strong convulsive quiver; near to him as I was, I felt the spasmodic movement of fury or despair run through his frame.  The second stranger, who had hitherto lingered in the background, now drew near; a pale face looked over the solicitor’s shoulder—yes, it was Mason himself.  Mr. Rochester turned and glared at him.  His eye, as I have often said, was a black eye: it had now a tawny, nay, a bloody light in its gloom; and his face flushed—olive cheek and hueless forehead received a glow as from spreading, ascending heart-fire: and he stirred, lifted his strong arm—he could have struck Mason, dashed him on the church-floor, shocked by ruthless blow the breath from his body—but Mason shrank away, and cried faintly, “Good God!”  Contempt fell cool on Mr. Rochester—his passion died as if a blight had shrivelled it up: he only asked—“What have you to say?”
There are three main stages in this illustration. I'm not quite organised enough in Photoshop to keep to just three layers though... 

Here is the initial linework, where everything looks a bit stiff and confusing:

And here I have added some crosshatching to build up the shapes and shadows before adding the greyscale painting:

Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2
About 10-15 hours, over four evenings. 

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