Monday, 10 October 2011

Illustration Project - After Dark

Recently Nowness.com, a website which I frequent for the latest in fashion, art and culture has posted a drawing competition. Participants will submit a 2D artwork whether illustration, photogrpahy or digital art based on author Murakami's novel or shortstories.

I was very excited about this because I've been a fan of Haruki Murakami, and he's a well known author in China. So I revisited his novel After Dark, which describe a series of events happened between 11:59 pm to 6:52 the next morning. I was touched by the characters and felt very much related to them - different people all have their own stories and their own way in dealing with troubles or confusions, however those who don't know you well, or even those who do, in this case the sisters, will not completely understand, in this way, everyone is quite lonely and alienated.

When I was reading the final part of the novel, I imagined the sister Mari, lying in bed with Eri, and when I flipped to the next page, she did exactly what I had imagined, and I knew this is the scene I will depict.


I looked for some inspirations - particularly Aubrey Beardsley's drawings and also came across with these. So awesome. I really enjoy Yamamoto's grotesque illustrations, and the max amount of detail is simply breathtaking.Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any good resolution ones.



A.Beardsley



Takato Yamamoto


I started with a rough sketch, and then a full-sized pencil drawing - constantly refining the figures and composition. I have a lot of difficulty drawing from my mind, so I had to look up many stock photos for furniture or patterns. This process took about one day.  Next, I traced the drawing on to illustration board. I used Frisket to mask the white areas of the pattern and went to bed.


The Second day, using ink with different brushes I filled in the lines and patterns. It took about 5 hours.
masking fluid not removed yet
Final illustration

The cherry blossom pattern is an strange force that is sort of protecting the two girls and hopefully everyone of us. It is the sense of optimism the novel ended with, after all, dawn is here and the new day begins. I feel that the digital translation is not quite there, the texture of the paper and ink is lost which is a bit of shame, I should take a better photo next time.

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