Slowvember WIP

  • Hi Guys,

    I've decided to begin working on a mid grade chapter book project to beef up my portfolio and am using Slowvember for my first piece. As such, these will be finished in black and white. I'll be illustrating scenes from The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde.

    The first excerpt I'll be illustrating is:
    "We have not cared to live in the place ourselves," said Lord Canterville, "since my grandaunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, was frightened into a fit, from which she never really recovered, by two skeleton hands being placed on her shoulders as she was dressing for dinner"

    Point of clarification: I realize that the text of The Canterville Ghost is not a mid-grade text but I'm taking the spirit of the story—a ghost trying to haunt a family who is not afraid of him at all—and using that as the basis for these images.

    Here are some rough sketches with value. Which is your favorite? Thanks!


  • I feel like #3 gets the point across the fastest.

  • @Matthew-Oberdier Super helpful. Thanks! It's impossible to see these things objectively when you're the one creating them.

  • @mcucchi These make me feel eerie (I don't like feeling that way) -shudder. I like #1's drama on the angle but like #3's approach, hands in the mirror but not in the "real world".

  • @Heather-Boyd Ha! I'm sorry. I love this kind of stuff. The story is actually pretty funny. This ghost tries to scare the new owners out of his house but they aren't afraid of him and start playing a bunch of jokes on him.

    Thanks for the feedback on the compositions!

  • This is a lot of fun - I like number one the best 😄

  • @mcucchi For me nr 2 is the winner 🙂 I like that it shows her a bit surprised and just before she is going to scream.

  • SVS OG

    I like number 1, but also think 3 could be fun cropped in just a bit. I like Heather's point that you can tell the ghost isn't there in the real world.

    So, if I understand correctly, this is the old owner, who was scared, but it's the new owners who are not? I think showing someone with an expression that is more annoyed by than scared of the ghost could be funny!

  • @mcucchi I think either number 1 or 3 would work best (but I think I prefer 3 slightly more). Really cool ideas and perspective going on in both of them 🙂

  • Very cool idea @mcucchi. Personally, I like 2 but I would like to see the duchess’s back so the skeleton hands are only visible in the mirror for added terror.

    Also, I would show the Duchess terrified looking into the mirror with the skeleton hands on her shoulders and perhaps her own arms franticly waving for gesture purposes.

    Finally, I would remove the character in the background opening the door since it pulls the viewer away from the terror scene.

    Can’t wait to see the finished piece!

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