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The Thing That Waited by tymime (print image)

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Artist's Statement

This was pretty much my last piece for Illustration class. The assignment was to do a book cover for The Thing That Waited by Paul Mras (which I'm certain doesn't exist).

The first thing was to make a hybrid creature to serve as your "thing". I made a possum-tiger at first, which was pretty cool (I should scan it), but apparently the idea was to cross animals not part of the same class, i.e. birds, mammals, reptiles, etc. So I did a fennec fox × bittern (a kind of wading bird). Just as well, it helped influence the next part for the better...
Next was to pick a mood. I could already tell that everybody was going to pick a scary mood, so naturally I went the other direction and chose "dismay". So instead of waiting IN A DEEP CAVE SO IT CAN EAT YOU RARGH, my creature has been waiting for something an immeasurably long time.

The medium is scratchboard, a thin board of clay-like material with a layer of ink on top. It's kind of like when you scratched away at black crayon over a rainbow of other colors when you were a kid.
One thing that made it easier is that I liked my various preliminary sketches so much that I threw them together in Photoshop, printed it out real big, put it on top, and pricked it so I could have an outline to follow.

This assignment was a little annoying because 1) the scratchboard "tools" were next to useless (which is why some of the lines are eww), so I just went to-heck-with-it and used my X-acto knife, and 2) my teacher was obsessed with having us use "value" (lots of different shades of grey), as if that were the only way to tell a story, and at this point in the semester I had "value" oozing out my ears trying to please him, and still I got my score sheet back saying "not enough value". :frustrated:

Ah well, despite the disaster that was the moon in the background (it looked much worse before I cleaned it in Photoshop), I'm very pleased with this piece- although I might do it over someday.

~Criswell


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