e43: The Uncanny Hound
Body of Work 03.12.20
Case N. 3
Supporting Piece (Storyboard):
Despite this piece being a close contender for one of my favourites of the term, the idea for the storyboard simply refused to come to me.
I've been noticing more and more lately that when I try to force my ideas they're always tragically dissatisfying in some way. Considering that I have already established my intentions to continue on with this concept after graduation, it felt completely counterproductive and disingenuous to produce a storyboard for this piece just for the sake of it. It is particularly fitting that of all of the cases this would be the one whose explanation eluded me, considering it's absolutely bizarre plot point - a fact that, if I'm honest, only gives me more solace in letting it remain unsolved.
Of course, should the inspiration somehow strike me before my ultimate submission, I will not hesitate to return to it and publish my thoughts but, for now at least, I am perfectly happy leaving it as it is.
Notes on Development:
I decided to test out Iain McCaig's digital colouring technique first over Nigel's, taking advantage of the dog's natural black and white fur to establish my tones, before washing over the colour from the light sources. I noted immediately that, though this was helpful at first, it became harder and harder to see the washed colour as I started working my fur textures overtop. I ended up having to fiddle with layer opacities, reference guides, and alpha locks just to get this method to work for me - ultimately losing time as I had to give up and simply repaint the colour wash with the fur texture brush and scrap the original layer attempts altogether.
Applying a black and white wash on top of coloured sections of the background (something I conjured from experimenting with a reversal of McCaig's suggestions) created an extremely 'me' stylisation of the technique, and fed my signature 'grittiness' back into a fairly rubbery looking design.
Having to eliminate the key light (entry 39) was scary at first, but afforded me the opportunity to play around with subtler colours and contributed greatly to the anticipatory atmosphere required for most terror concepts.
Applying a slight artistic liberty to the light sources (as encouraged by Jeremy Vickery), I coloured the highlights in the eyes slightly differently to the lamplight illuminating his bust and, in doing so, gave him a devilish gleam which strongly insinuates some sort of trance-like state. Combined with the swollen nature of his head (a stark contrast to other instances where his profile is pointy and gaunt) and the slight cross-eyed stare, I was able to achieve the uncanny look I was hoping for.
At this stage, I found these tiny, personalised adaptations to the process extremely rewarding, and went on to continue pushing the envelope in future canvases.
[Please see bellow videos documenting the entire process of creating this piece: from concept, to sketch, to painting, and rendering.]
Note: due to an unknown issue with the software, all time-lapse videos have a slight colour distortion, sometimes appearing darker and a much higher saturation than what the canvas truly looked like at the time. My apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
- R Cipolletta