Thursday, 25 July 2013

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials - The Spies Revisited

gallivespians, lord roke, lady salmakia, chevalier tialys

Something of a stylistic experiment with a nod to William Morris and Aubrey Beardsley.  The diminutive Gallivespian spies! From the left, Lady Salmakia, at the back Lord Roke. At the front the very cool Chevalier Tialys. They appear to be confronting a Magisterial spy. Their names are split into syllables not to be pretentious, but for how the words look. Very Arts & Crafts, and so English!

 I was taken by something I read by Richard Dawkins, saying that we as humans don't concern ourselves with things like surface tension on water, as we are too large to notice it. As I drew the 4 inch spies, I imagined it being great if their long thin feet could walk on water, insect like.

Lately I've been trying to improve textures and reflected light, going back to exercises like this below.

I decided to knit the scarves of the spies, as I designed them, on a 1:1 scale. I added them to the first watercolours I did of each character on dowel poles above the pictures.

lady salmakia, his dark materials, cloudpine451

lord roke, his dark materials, cloudpine451

chevalier tialys, his dark materials, cloudpine451

I'd like to share some sketchbook pages showing how I developed the characters and images. One of Pullman's greatest inventions was mounting the spies on dragonflies, which I am developing into a layered drawing. You can see Lord Roke's Lodestone Resonator. To get a sense of the spies' scale they jump from Lyra's shoulder.

gallivespian, his dark materials

gallivespian, his dark materials

gallivespian, his dark materials