Sunday, July 10, 2016

Yellow Brick Road Trip

I’ve just completed a painting and I plan to share some of the stages of the paintings progress through my next few blog posts. The subject of this painting is the trip to Oz. I call this one Yellow Brick Road Trip

Strangely, Oz has found it’s way into several of my commercial projects as well, including two magazine ads where I used the theme of the Yellow Brick Road to promote a tile store, swapping out the character of Dorothy for one named Valerie. But that is the subject of a previous article which you can read by clicking here.

Getting back to this project… I’ve had a picture in my mind of a point in the story where Dorothy and her companions, having just come out of the woods, catch their first glimpse of the Emerald City. Here are a couple of very loose sketches I worked up for this one.

Click any image for an enlarged view.

While I already had a basic composition worked out in my mind, I still had two problems I needed to resolve. Should we see the characters from the side as they gaze out over the landscape or should I opt for a front view as they gaze out over us at some unseen destination? Should I choose a somewhat realistic approach or a more whimsical approach? The two sketches above helped me to resolve both issues.

There are also a couple of other issues I would find myself thinking through. Notice the differences between the two sketches of the Tin Man. 

I was torn between making him look like the traditional depictions of the character vs. taking him in a more modern, robotic direction.

As you can see by this more refined sketch, I opted for a compositional compromise where we see the characters from the front but they are still looking off at something to our right. I chose this because I eventually want to show more of the landscape and especially Yellow Brick Road. I also chose a less whimsical style. At this point I’m also choosing a more traditional look for the Tin Man. But as you will see in my next post, I changed my mind yet again.

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