November 3rd Thursday - Poe sketches

  • SVS OG

    Okay, so here goes…these are my sketches/rough ideas for Nov 3rd Thursday….I have to say when I heard the brief I thought ‘Oh no….I’m gonna hate’s dark & death-related, not children’s books, not cute, it even wants us to do a portrait! …but then again it is good for us to be pushed out of our comfort zones….and I reminded myself that while I don’t generally like the macabre, I do like inky and vintage and combining text with image. And I did get into it after a while…

    So, after reading @Lee-White’s suggestion of doing three ideas with a description of each to propose to a client, I tried to follow that format. Thoughts welcome…. am particularly wondering which one to take forward? (though please don’t say no.3, I don’t really like that one! :-0




  • SVS OG

    Whoa I think you are really onto something here! I enjoy all three concepts but the version with the tree is really spectacular! I vote for you to go with that one!!!

  • Wonderful! I vote for tree also

  • SVS OG

    Very nice - i love cut-through or section view perspective - i really like that one best - would be very cool in a woodcut style - they are all nice though

  • OMG, the one with the tree looks like a cover someone would pay for! It is a winner, great job!!! Spell Allan right though.

  • I really like the first one. It isn't something I've already seen over and over which I think would help sell the book. I really dig the way you placed the title on the ceiling in the second concept.

  • I'm going against the group here: I like the cat one. The main thing about the tree one that I like is the fact that you brought it to a full front and back cover idea--that is really cool! However, you could do the same for the cat one if you wanted.

    The main reason I prefer the cat one is because it has a much more complex and dynamic composition. I also think it is a stronger sketch overall (there are several form issues with the tree one--though I'm sure you could fix those).

    Nice work whichever you decide!

  • @Dulcie Wow. Great concepts here. I too am a fan of the cat, but I also really, really like number 3 as well.

    The tree is stunning, but I'd maybe connect the facial features to the tree somehow or make them out of falling leaves or something so that it looks like nature has made it happen and that exact point or just that nature made it instead of it being a tree and a face. If the face looked like it was made out of tree bark it'd really sell the image. Or, and I don't know if you were thinking of adding colour or not, but if there was a fire or something behind the tree and the wood that's making the features makes it look like a pumpkin in that way.

    I don't know, just throwing out ideas but the cat pose is dynamic and stunning and iI love the dark simplicity of the last one too.


  • I like each idea but favor the first idea the most.
    Edgar doesn't quite come off as a likeness but idea is very strong. What if the cat's tail was pointing at the title rather than curling back at the tree?

    You have some great sketches here. I really like your style. I'm anxious to see where you take these ideas!


  • I enjoy the first one the most because I think the concept and image are stronger.

  • SVS OG

    Thanks everyone for the feedback, that’s really helpful! Looks like I will have to go with idea no.1 then 🙂

    @Rich-Green Thanks for the positivity 🙂

    @Kevin-Longueil I know what you mean about the woodcut style, I agree that would be a good way to develop it. I just know it will be fiddly and detailed and I’m gonna get frustrated with it….actually I think you or @Sarah-LuAnn would do a great job with a similar sketch, you’re both so good at getting the detail right 🙂

    @Thrace-Shirley-Mears - Thank you! 🙂 Whoops about the spelling, will fix that…

    @mattramsey It’s nice to have one vote for the cat 🙂 Yeah I’m sure there are issues with the tree, I will have to address those next…

    @Ace-Connell Thanks for the thoughts and ideas, appreciate it 🙂 Yeah I did wonder about fitting the portrait within the tree and making it more integrated and bark-like, didn’t want to do anything too much like @Kevin-Longueil’s recent pieces though. So I thought the head could be like a corpse coming out of the ground in front of the tree…I think it’s not obvious though so I need to fix that.

    @Rob-Smith Thank you, that’s a good idea with the cat’s tail, will see if that works better 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @Dulcie Dulcie don't let what anyone did recently stop you from trying it - the anthropomorphic tree has been done thousands of times i'm sure - i had never done it until last month and it was fun and challenging trying - everything has been done so we are free to do whatever we want - i don't think there are any egos on this site either so i don't think anyone should worry about doing similar themes - i would love to se Poe coming out of the bark of that tree too!

  • SVS OG

    Thanks @Kevin-Longueil for the encouragement to try the tree idea - glad you don't mind 🙂 Knowing that almost everything has been done already, it's sort of deflating but also liberating at the same time. I will see what works best, might try both a corpse version and a tree version...

  • SVS OG

    Here's an update...hoping I have made some progress...or should that be Poegress? I was planning to break out my dip pen and ink for this, but I was having too much fun with the digital ink.

    I thought about making Poe really tree-like, but I'm not sure how to do it without ruining the portrait...and now I've done it I see him as a sort of corpse mushroom growing from the ground. I do need to finesse the underground spirits though.

    Also not sure whether to add any colour....


  • This is god damn gorgeous! Well done @dulcie!

    The biggest strength to me is the mood - you've really captured it!


  • SVS OG

    I have loved this since you first shared the original concept sketch and it is absolutely the perfect amount of creepy and delightful!

  • I think this is such a great piece! What if Poe's hair melded and flowed with the tree texture? Your drawing just keeps getting better. If you were to color it I would stay with a muted limited palette.

  • I thought it might look good on off white paper. What do you think?

  • LOVE this one

  • SVS OG

    @Ace-Connell and @Rich-Green Thank you 🙂

    @Rob-Smith Thanks! I like the idea of the hair melding and flowing with the tree, I’ll try to do that a bit more. I agree also about muted palette.

    @Thrace-Shirley-Mears Great idea I will try that! It takes the edge off the white but not too colourful either.

Log in to reply