Chuck Wadey is entered in the “Eon Challenge” update: View Challenge Page
Alright! I’ve been watching the challenge area for months waiting for a new one to kick off. This’ll be my first go at it. Wish me luck.
Now to find a copy of that book…
The book: I finished the whole thing. I’m a bit of a slow reader, so it took me until early December. I love hard core sci-fi, Frank Herbert and Vernor Vinge. If nothing else, this challenge has introduced me to another great author.
I can realistically do an illustration in one weekend, so I don’t think the deadline will be a problem, but only if I can come up with a concept and composition first. It’s a challenge for an illustrator to interpret a novel of this scope in only one image. You either have to pick a single moment and let go of all the coolness that happened in other scenes or you do a Struzan style movie collage. The problem with the collage is that it’s artificial and can sacrifice real character interaction and story - but at least you get to paint all the cool stuff you want.
To get started I just began drawing a bunch of little compositions (17 so far). At first I didn’t even worry about who the people were or whether compositional elements were spaceships or cities. I was just trying to see if anything would grab me on an abstract level. Eventually some of thumbs got a little more specific and I picked my favorite 6 to post and talk about here. Let’s see if I can sort this out…
6 - This one is still the most abstract but there's something about it that I really like. It looks like the death is blooming on Earth in the lower left and some kind of fiery plasma is connecting it to what probably should be the rock in the background on the right. I think the singularity is cutting across in back and maybe the Thistledown has just blasted through the cap and into Earth orbit. I'd have to think more about who the characters are on the right and what they're standing on. 3 - The top horizon is earth and the death. As your eye moves down, the background transitions into one of the rock's chambers. I think this would be a great angle to draw the city of Alexandria because you'd really be able to feel that it's on the inside of a cylinder. In the center the characters are standing on some kind of platform that intercepts the singularity. Up from the bottom, the supernova is racing through the Way. 4 - This is the moment in the story when Lanier's crew has been taken aboard Axis City during their Vasquez rescue mission. I think this scene gives me the widest range of characters, aliens and vehicles that all came together at the same time, so I wouldn't have to collage in elements. It also gives a good ceiling perspective of the Way. I think Patricia, Olmy and Frant are in the foreground left and Lanier's crew exits vehicle center right. 14 & 10 - These thumbs both depict the climax where Patricia is opening a gate with the aid of Lanier and Olmy partials while the supernova bears down on them. 10 collages in other city and space elements while 14 just tells it straight.
I think 14 is the simplest and most powerful of the entire bunch. I probably should move ahead with it, but I don’t want to give up on all the other cool aliens and spaceships… maybe I can overlay something without destroying the emotional impact.
11 - Again, Patricia opening gate with partials and supernova. This one pulls back so that you get the broader epic space scope, but I think you loose the character interaction. Tough one.
Oooh, this is going to be a good one!
Good thumbs Chuck! Good luck with your entry, I know this will be a good one!
I settled on doing the scene from my thumb #4. The thing with my thumbs is that I drew them from memory without referring back to the text. Before moving on to the final drawing, I re-read the scene (Chpt. 42, pgs.297-301) and discovered my sketch didn’t look anything like the event described in writing. On the up side, the text had a ton of details that I hadn’t remembered and it gave me so much new material to work with now that I have chosen the moment of my illustration.
I drew different elements on separate sheets of paper using a light box. Next step will be compositing them together in Photoshop.
This is the enviroment I’m basing my composition around. It’s the V/STOL being guided into the inspection hangar by a Flaw maintenance vehicle.
This is the final line art after compositing all of the elements together. I have some more minor tweaking to do with gestures, costumes and expressions, but overall I’m pretty happy with the piece so far.
Very cool! Can’t wait to see it develop!
I think your most recent images are stronger than your original concepts, and that you’re moving in a good direction with it.
Nice idea like it alot. looking forward to the final image.
This lineart you have so far is just gorgeus… keep up the fantastic work.
Nice to see you here, great progres, I looking foward to see final:thumbsup:
Thanks guys. I took too long to read the book and get to this point, but now that I’m over the hump and have a drawing, I expect the rest to come relatively fast and easy.
Rawwad: Yeah, you ca.org guys… you, hideyoshi, beelow… This is the first work I’ve posted here. I miss c.o.w. and c.h.o.w.
Personally i enjoy any kind of tech design so i love your technically detailed style but maybe you could push it a little bit more so it looks more futuristic; so advanced that, even being human seems alinigenous to ours (just suggesting)
good luck!! my friend