Edgar Allan Poe's "Unparalleled Adventures of one Hans Pfaall" illustrations

  • Hi!

    I'd like to put some effort into moving from game art, where I've been for the last decade, into book illustrations.
    I would really love some input on this small project of mine:

    Edgar Allan Poe wrote a short story called "Unparalleled Adventures of one Hans Pfaall", which I've decided to do a few (three, to be precise) illustrations for. This is an experiment I want to do with watercolors and try to find some sort of a attractive look for.

    The first illustration is this:


  • I like your color choice. When I think Poe it's always dark, but this is alive. Great watercolor!

  • SVS OG

    This is a really beautiful illustration. I've always wanted to paint with water colors but I always had trouble getting the scans to look right and just gave up on it.

  • @bharris - Thanks!! My thinking about this one is that even though this isn't a children's tale, I wanted to keep the fantasy bit of the story really bright and colorful, while "reality" is a little more gritty. I hope to bind the illustrations together through the blue color.. I'm posting the two other illustrations below.

    @evilrobot - Thanks a lot! Yeah, the scans can be a bit of a pain... The originals are also too big for the scanner, so stitching them up in Photoshop is really annoying. Thanks a lot Adobe for the function to automatically aligning layers though!

  • The second illustration in the series.
    Here, the person in the story is reading a book he found in a book stall.
    Spoiler alert: The first and last illustration show his lies/fantasies, whereas this one is more grounded in reality, so I tried to make it a little more gritty.
    Don't know if that just made it into a lot less attractive illustration, though 😞
    I also used a fine grain paper whereas the two others are made on satin, which I regret.


    The third and currently final illustration in the series:
    The main character in the story has concocted a story about him flying to the moon in a balloon, so I wanted this shot to look really "fantastic".


  • These are really great. Very pro level here.

  • I like your work so much! It is amazing!

  • @mattramsey & @Odré Thanks so much, it truly means a lot!

    I am sort of unsure when it comes to my stylization of things, I see in children's books people who are so great at doing these stylized characters and environments that look "simple" but are really masterful.

  • Wonderful colors, technique, characters, compositions!

  • SVS OG

    I'm loving these man really cool. That dude's hair is my favorite. One thing that might add just a touch more interest (which you have going on already a little bit in that foreground book and in the shadows in the book case) I wonder if you dapple (just very watered down) some different colors in your shadow areas some different reds, blues, purples, before you lay down your base wash to add that little bit of extra texture so it breaks up the flat washes just tiny bit more. I think it would add a lot , like in this image the character's hair, the coat, and the cover of that book I think a little texture or color variation would look good.

  • SVS OG

    I love them all! Wow! So talented.

  • SVS OG

    Also, I like the graininess of the book reader painting.

  • Thanks a lot!

    @evilrobot - Great point, I try to keep the color variation in mind, but sometimes it slips 😞 I'll make sure to focus even more on it!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    very nice! love it! : )

  • @akerman I defiantly see the fantasy element, makes me think you should illustrate Tolkien! These are just beautifully done and a perfect project!

  • SVS OG

    @akerman What a wonderful style you have! Appealing characters, beautiful color choices. We are actually in a similar place, I have been in an artist in the video game industry for 10 years as well! This is a great forum to help transition to book illustration. If you haven't already, the monthly subscription is beyond worth it for the amount of videos you get.

  • Thanks for your kind words, everyone!

    @lee-white Means a lot! I've started on your lectures about the business side of things, I'm really impressed with how concrete and to the point the information is. I'm looking forward to finishing the class. It's pretty obvious that I have put more focus on my art than on the business, and your class is a great help - the kind of video that I'll buy in addition to being a subscriber in order to go back to in the future 🙂

    @bharris - That would be an amazing project! I'm going to see if I can do some smaller and faster spot illustrations for this project as soon as I'm done with a poster for my daughter's room, but then who knows!? 😃

    @natiwata - Thanks for the kind words, nice to bump into a fellow games labourer 😉
    I have started a subscription, indeed as you say there's so much great information on here! I look forward to going through the classes, I started with Lee Whites business videos, quite an eye-opener 😮

  • I really like your illustrations. Your watercolor work and color choices are great!

  • Pro SVS OG

    Really wonderful! Love the characters and they way you are handling the skin tones and overall color. Awesome!

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