jeudi, novembre 15, 2012

Drawing Signore

...Its as hard as it was to learn to draw JFK.
But both are not as hard as Eleeanor Roosevelt.

Just like those of  JFK, the available Photos of Signore are from a wider timeframe, therefore his face changes from pic to pic.  On some of them, he's a bit chubby, on others very thin and sometimes he appears even pretty meager.  
I had to make a pick. This immediately narrowed the available choice.
I took the photos from his later days. There he looks best and after all, my story also features him in his last days, so no use to draw him as a youngster.

Fom a graphical point of view, this age is the most difficult. You can't render all his folds. It would make him look too old. But when I don't draw them at all, he looks too young. A balance is difficult to find.

But Signore also has his gifts for artists willing to draw him. Such as the fluffy white shock of hair on the top of his dark haired front. 
Especially in his elderly days, When he had let his hair grow, this teasing "mèche" does the same job as John F. Kennedys famed forelock. And then there's of course the - ahm - impressive italian nose. Makes him an immediatly recognizable Character. But still, he's extremely hard to draw. I'm pretty struggeling. 

Well, he doesn't have to match the real likeness up to 100 % after all. My book is fiction. Most people probably  won't mind  incohrences. But I truly wish I could render his gentle eyes and his heartwarming smile. Somehow. 

I manage to draw him fairly from a photo. But a fictional book requires new poses without any model, where he still should be reciognizable.

From a famed Photo.

Out from the Book: Feeling the danger.

For the Book. The ultimate moment.

dimanche, novembre 11, 2012

Dangerous characters

In my last post I mentioned the importance of avoiding any logic mistake when creating new facts and events that shall be part of the history in an alternate universe.

Another hot topic is the identity of the characters, especially when it comes to those inspired by real persons.
I try to keep as much as possible of the individual traits of historical figures.
Even tough they live in a different world where they have different lives, with different or altered events happening to them, they are still supposed to act according to their basic personality. Of course, the latter can only be guessed, despite of all research done.

Most of my character's real alter egos are dead by now and have the status of historical personalities. Artistic freedom lets me pretty much render each figure as I please, without the fear of negative consequences.

But in the storyline I told about in my last post, there's an exception:

This man's real model is actually still alive.
And he's not nice. Neither in my story, nor in reality. He's a murderer.

So for the first time I ask myself questions like:

Should I draw him in the way one can recognize him? Is it wise to use his real name?
As I said, he's a killer - and he was released from prison years ago hence theoretically, he could get me.

I know its very, very unlike that he gets aware of my book. My stuff has such a little distribution and is read by barely a handful of people. It's probably safe to assume that it will not make its way down to Italy and end up in the hands of this guy.

But what if it does anyway? There *are* such nasty coincidences, you know.
An then, if he doesn't like what he sees ?... And there are damn good chances he won't.
He may get upset and decides to give his former career a relaunch. he googles my adress, comes into my house and does on me what he did on Signore more than 30 years ago.

That would be oh so utterly uncool.
so what shall I do? pick up a fictive name, maybe an anagram? change his likeness? Or just keep name and look, because there's no reason he should make any exception. And after all, we are just talking about former Red Brigade members, not the fundamentalist supporters of a certain Religion. Said brigadists are probably not this easily offended by art.

Either way. If, after my book is out, my lead-filled body is found in the trunk of a car, please give police a hint by showing them this blog. Thanks.


samedi, novembre 10, 2012

Byways and Sidepaths

When working with a whole fictive Universe such as the World of Antique White House, you have to create much more than just the main Characters, a location where they live and what they do. You need to recreate a whole culture and history. In order to avoid any mistakes, I keep a history time-line with all major events, such as elected Presidents, wars, great discoveries, cultural exploits, inventions and so on. 

Each time I introduce a new fact, I first look how it fits on this time-line and therefore how it will interact with the existing facts.
A side effect of this way of working is that there are lot more facts and stories than there will ever be told throughout a book or a film. Byways and Sidepaths that may remain hidden for ever. 

Sometimes they can be included as tiny details. As an example, in the Merula Dawn Film: During the main titles, the camera focuses on the house-altar. A calendar on the wall changes from time to time, switching to another picture, hence showing 40 years passing by. Some of these pictures just display some animals; - mammoths, cave-lions and other typical americanian fauna.  And some also display historical scenes. Such as a Soldier in the time frame of the great European War. 
And  this one:

The thrilling part is that the picture is not spectacular, although it captures a dramatic moment. If only you could hear the spoken words. The events it refers to, also occurred in our world.
But none about it will be told in the Merula Dawn Film, so far. There, it's just one of the changing calendar pictures and will probably not even get much noticed by the spectator. 

I plan to tell more about the subject in a White House Book, tough. Since I have the feeling that I have something to say about it and a need to draw the main protagonists. 

A bad need, since I *should* get much more done in the NaNoWriMo where I'm involved, too.

I hope Signore will allow me some time for that...