tilly_stratford: (Blue & Gold)
[personal profile] tilly_stratford
Shh, this is totally my art for April. I have no idea how many hours I've spent on this at this point, it's probably the most complex piece of art I've attempted (I had to figure out how to draw floral patterns, just that took a couple of evenings).

Bottom line, I'll never stop mourning this dumb comic book hero that was killed off years ago.

"Hey, I want to imitate Medieval/Renaissance stained glass portraits," I said.

"I want to do something symmetrical," I said.

"This is totally not going to eat up all my free time for weeks," I said.

blue_beetle__martyrs_die_too_young sz_by_herefortheties-d7hhq1s

This was totally going to be WAY more stained glass-y, but when I tried to break all the pieces down into smaller pieces it just looked busy (or busier), so you get this pseudo-thing instead. In any case it became a fun exercise in thick outlines.

Those are genuine Medieval/Renaissance symbols (remember when I studied the depiction of martyrs in Medieval art at university?) except the flower, which I yanked from the Victorian Language of the Flowers, and the stuff represented is as follows: Dragonfly -- free will; Bee (I've been wanting to draw bees for a while) -- martyrdom; Hour glass -- the inevitability of death; White Chrysantemum -- truth. Yes, I know Chrysantemums didn't look like that before, like, the 1920s.

Then there's the Beetle-specific ones; The scarabs and the little cog wheels (he's an inventor after all). Beetles in Renaissance art actually represents immortality or salvation, by the way.

Originally I intended to draw Beetle the way he looks just before he's killed -- the shattered goggles, the nose bleeding, etc., but A) It didn't look quite right and B) I just wanted to get this image done already.

I learned so much doing this picture though, I had to wing just about everything, and even figure out a new computer program (Alchemy) for the patterns. Even if there's stuff I wish I'd be able to do better, I still realize I wouldn't have been able to pull anything like this off, say, two years ago.

Date: 2014-05-07 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_grayswandir_/
That is really beautiful. I was going to say I love the patterns of cogs and beetles, but really I love everything -- the bee and dragonfly look amazing, the flower is perfect (I had no idea chrysanthemums looked different in the past -- interesting!), I love how you did Beetle's pose with the face in profile against the light, and I just think the medieval symbolism on stained glass makes for such an elegant image. Did you make up the floral pattern on the pink part of the glass?

Date: 2014-05-08 05:59 am (UTC)
ext_130425: Will Eisner's The Spirit (HB: Steampunk Bush)
From: [identity profile] tilly-stratford.livejournal.com
Wow, thank you! Yes, I also made the pattern on the pink background. Took a lot of trial and error before I made something I was happy with :-)

I had no idea chrysanthemums looked different in the past -- interesting!

Yeah, historically 'mums have looked very similar to the daisy, and the ball-like flower head is afaik a more modern cultivar. I figured if I drew the old-fashion version people would just think it was a daisy.


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