e45: The Flying Moose
Body of Work 06.12.20
Case N. 4
Supporting Piece (Storyboard):
(A story sequence detailing another strange occurrence in the forest. Seemingly out of nowhere, Euro begins aggressively demanding to leave the house, only to bolt the minute Deccker cracks open the door. Startled, she grabs her gun and chases after him, barely grabbing him by the scruff in time before he barrels head first into a tree. Before she can scold him, she notices he is maddened, frothing at the mouth and staring up at the branches of a towering tree in the moon-filled clearing...)
Notes on Development:
My absolute favourite piece of the lot, this moose, is comprised of my own spin on the techniques laid out in the previous pieces/entries. I successfully amalgamated both techniques presented by Nigel and McCaig to create my own methodology - honouring the former by reversing the latter. To boot: I begin with colour to apply depth and realism-precision and then black wash the tones for grittiness and detailing.
In addition to this customized technique, I discovered an interest (and potential affinity) for painting and shading using fur brushes! The technique is much the same in this case as well.
Above all else though, the biggest and most notable adaptation I made in this piece was the lighting, omitting the key and kick light completely, in favour of an enveloping rim light. I personally prefer a more minimalistic approach to horror and the uncanny, wherein the viewer is allowed to fill in the gaps to their own discretion (and assorted internal demons), and this decision fell in line with that interest spectacularly for me. The hints of implied detail, in particular the bones in the front and rear legs that just barely catch the light, are right up my alley in terms of stylisation.
Aside from atmosphere, the rim lighting also served in the delivery of concept information, with the bright highlight creating arguably its most eye-catching contrast at the base of the moose's spine (the tear). This detail is important to my story as it implies both a very violent mauling at the expense of the moose by, what must have been a relatively large predator, and the precariousness of her position on the tree, seeming as though she might fall onto the viewer at any given second.
The dripping of blood down the bark was an excellent final touch, and its matte texture betrays that the moose has been up here for some time, casting some confusion on why the dog inexplicably reacted to it now. The dryness can also be related to my research into Dante's Inferno when considering the dry, sapless, 'infertile' tree-bodies which make up the suicide forest, who can only speak their story when made to bleed from their bark.
Another, simpler, but similarly symbolic detail is the removal of the antlers (or 'palms') of this moose, making her a female, or 'cow', creating a parallel between the protagonist and the case subject.
For now this is an empty correlation, but as the main point of this story is to provide a good platform with ample opportunity for hiding secret messages, it is definitely a positive to leave opportunities for symbolic depth lying around like this for further exploration at a later date.
[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