Friday, May 26, 2017

Little Breakthroughs and Big Green Martians (Making of A Princess of Mars, WEEK 5)

Little Breakthroughs
Good news! Working on the project every day, and trying the abstract approach I described in the WEEK 4 entry (The Place of Unknowing) is starting to yield wonderful results. The image you see was started as a complete abstract drawing. Then I began to see forms and pulled them out. Dejah Thoris in front, Woola behind her on a step of the rock, John Carter looking to the right and hand on sword, and Sola at top right. Now the challenge is to keep the spontaneous feel as I continue to refine the drawing, ink it, and move on to a color peace if it goes well.

Big Green Martians
I have done three drawings of Green Martians thus far, and the last is probably the most accurate, though the first one is very weird, which is kind of cool. The second looks a bit like a mix between a Green Martian and a Klingon. What's probably giving me the most trouble is Burroughs description that their eyes sit at the extreme sides of their heads. That's all well and good if you're a grasshopper (which is what I'm starting to think they should look like), but when you put eyes on the very sides of the head, the viewer of a picture will really only see one eye at a time unless the Green Martian is facing forward. And how does one draw eye sockets and brow ridges on the side of the head? Also, not having eyes affects the whole facial structure—bones, muscles, skin, everything. And, having only slits for a nose means no frown lines, for the most part. I don't want to overthink this, but I do want to understand the structure since I am drawing a Green Martian more than once. And I don't want the Green Martian to look like a
puppet, which is how Frazetta's do sometime on the paintings (especially A Princess of Mars), but his inkings of Green Martians for some reason look better. But hey, maybe they should look like puppets. Huge, malevolent grasshopper puppets! I don't know. Still trying to work it out.

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More next week!

Robert Zoltan

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