Recently I was asked by the good folks over at Nobrow press to contribute an illustration for the upcoming sixth issue of their magazine. The theme was the Double or the Doppelgänger. It took me forever to come up with an idea, mostly because I wanted to avoid anything obvious. But in the end I couldn’t resist my mental images of haunted German romantic poets, dandies and bohemians being chased through the fog by some dark, unknowable double.
So after looking at some Caspar David Friedrich paintings, and (not entirely period correct) pictures from Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, I put on some Schubert (Here are some other pieces I listened to while working on this) and set to work.
Here’s the sketch.
That turned into this drawing
I scanned this and was going to finish it digitally.
Only midway through my piece I realised I wasn’t happy with it. It didn’t work. I think I was making a piece that needed to be full colour (even if those colours were going to be very muted, pale and unsaturated) and I had only four colours at my disposal.
Fortunately the moment I made the decision to abandon it I had an idea for a new picture. I jotted it down and went to bed. If it still looked like a good idea the next day I’d make that piece otherwise I’d just continue wrestling with the old drawing.
This is where I left it. What you can’t see here is the mess of different layers. I just didn’t have the time and patience to finish a piece I wasn’t even sure was right.
( I do like parts of it, but I think it would work better with some different colours and shadings.)
So I started the new drawing. It took me to about 5am in the night, but I managed to finish it.
Only I had made a mistake in making it. A big one. It’s a bit complicated and boring to explain, but suffice it to say my drawing was impossible to print. So I had to alter it. I messed around with channels and spot colours for a while without any decent results and not really getting any the wiser about that whole can of worms.
Eventually the solution was quite simple. This is what the finished layers look like.
And those four layers combined are the drawing at the top.
And that’s how it’s done ladies and gentlemen.