Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials - Metatron

It was time to return to Pullman's story with the long promised Metatron, like all arch bad guys, he is shrouded in mystery, only sketched out as a character. It amused me greatly how his hunt for the subtle knife brought out such electric fury! First I needed to draw him and then I planned a bigger image of him at his seat of power, with many zealots going through their rituals.

Who remembers hours drawing with felt tips as a child with those fun 30 pack of colours? Now I'm an older kid I realise why the results were usually rubbish. Too many colours! Really sophisticated results come from finding the right primary colours, along with a simple technique of layering always with the lighter colour first. Some heavyweight cartridge paper and a bit of experimenting and you can create all those 30 pack colours, with a lot of added texture and awesomeness!

I always use black G-tecs, and thought I'd try their colours. It has to be the light blue because the darker one is way too dark for layering.


You can do all of your drawing with the yellow, any mistakes will be covered with the layering of the red and blue.

Here's an example in stages of using the layering in a range of different hatching for the Metatron drawing. These images are bigger so you can see the lines.


I started with a lot of marks, just getting a feel for the way the colours blend. 



Slowly you can sense shapes emerging by always altering the direction of marks. I imagined Metatrons wings as made of crystal, so there is a lot of light bouncing around, and a lot of colour separation. It made him seem ancient.




Here you can see how dark the three colours blend.

Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials, Metatron

This is how I left it. I loved working like this and will try again soon. Last details had him looking native american, there is a spectral war mask always hovering above his head. The trident is almost like a blunderbuss.

For the larger (A2) image below, like Where's Wally, Metatron can be seen at the foot of an enormous statue of... himself. The cultists/zealots are enjoying themselves in their way, heaping their fanatical praises as they steadily build the hysteria. They get to ride the helter skelter while hearing the mad organist! (on the high pedestal).  They get to enjoy the old school delights of choking incense and blood sacrifice! As long as they stay on their knees, Metatron tolerates them. 

Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials, Metatron