A project that popped into my head recently was based on the song “Guinevere” from legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman’s 1975 album The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table… As the long title suggests, every song is a musical interpretation based on a character or event from the Arthur legend. Synthesizers and pianos and organs and choirs, oh my. One of my faves is “Guinevere”, a sad, sweet, romantic tune (saccharine my wife would say) in which the chorus is the phrase: “Guinevere, golden tresses shining in the air, spread against the jasper sea”.
I always got a clear image in my mind from that line. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about words that create pictures? I suppose the value of those words is at least a thousand-fold. Ha ha, that is actually a good definition of poetry.
Back to the topic at hand, I wanted to actually plan a drawing for once instead of just jumping in and sketching. I wanted to try and capture the emotion/tone I get from the song, so did some quick poses and analyzed why some felt right and others wrong. It was all about body language… avoiding poses that imply aggression or submissiveness or joy or whatever else. I wanted hints of grace and sorrow. Once I found a pose I liked, I looked at other details to reinforce that idea, such as the direction of her gaze, the setting, the color scheme, and elements to imply motion (in this instance the windblown hair and waves in the sea).
The whole process actually only took about an hour, and was eventually scanned in to serve as a guide for a digital paint.