I also complained about how slow my wife has been about reading my would-be novel and how I've written a pretty long short story while I've been waiting... over 6k words long. Well, as I do everything I write, I loved it. What will happen soon though, I'll tweak it a bit before sending it off to try to get it published, then notice something I didn't like, change it, realized I screwed up the continuity, rewrite other portions, get bored with it, decide it needs more action, then realize its too dark, add a comedic sidekick. Eventually I'll have a mess.
But I'm not there yet. Right now I still love my story. So while I had the time and inclination I decided to do a sketch or two early on this morning to really give the story some oomph. I've been doing a lot of sketches and the like the past month or two because I am toying with the idea of releasing something - for free, or as cheap as the rules will allow - in various e-formats. I think I'm going to try to submit my novel for
So, with that in mind I was thinking of adding a picture or two with anything I release. I'm still toying with the idea and don't know if I'll do it... but that does serve as the inspiration for recent flurry of doodles I've been putting out.
Now, the short story I've written is set in the southern U.S. in the mid 1890's. In the story a Clint Eastwood type mysterious stranger shows up when things are just turning violent. I had in mind the fantastic movie The Unforgiven when Clint walks into the saloon with vengeance on his mind.
The difference I suppose is that my character is a black man. For 10 - 20 years right after the civil war black men in the south enjoyed more freedoms and luxuries than they would for the next century. The 1890's was when Jim Crow laws were really starting to be put into the books across the south, taking away many of those freedoms.
|Also, I don't draw guns well.|
I wanted to show several characters in the foreground and that classic Mexican standoff that the great Spaghetti Western's are known for. But I realized that I couldn't do that for a couple of reasons. 1) I suck at blocking things out. I would be positioning folks in stupid places and would end up ruining my picture, I just don't have the skill level to pull that sort of thing off well. 2) It would take forever to actually move that beyond a mere sketch. I would spend as much time trying to finish a scene as I did writing the story in the first place. I'm not prepared to dedicate that kind of time to it.
So, after deciding that was the wrong track I wanted to focus on the same part of the story, but to sketch the character a bit more dynamically to see if that looks any better. I got this:
|Wait. Wasn't he supposed to be black?|
I like it a bit better, but it looks too comic booky to me. I wanted the end picture to look more like an oil painting, not a rogue from the Batman comics. I needed to up the ante and add some realism to the scene. Of course I can't really do that without some sort of reference photo or something. So I picked a photo of the internet and sketched this:
|That cowboy hat got awfully wimpy looking.|
Well, I did okay with the realism, but my issue is that I really need a live model to sketch something that looks real and like it has impending action... in other words. I wasted my day. Still, I do enjoy the creative process. I just wish I had more time and could work faster.
In the meantime, my wife has read the first five chapters of my novel. Only about 20 more to go and I can get it back and start making revisions.