Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Volley XVII: Tapes!

I got hired to do some album art by a friend of mine who owns a record label. I spent a night or two working on a few drawings to try to make something to fit the theme of the album. I haven't drawn daily for a long time. As such, it takes me longer to get started and my head gets in my way. The album is based on the film "Vampyr." The film itself is very atmospheric and ethereal. The sound is like a toned down Delìrium Còrdia. Granted, the original score long predates the Fantômas album by decades. I had seen the movie previously and found it creepy and surreal, but could not remember a lot specifically from it. Google image search wasn't super helpful either. There is however the iconic scythe.

So why not start there? It had to happen quickly, so I whipped something out in pen and ink. And started buzzing from fumes. Don't use ink designed for graffiti in a tiny apartment kids, protip.

Starting to look very metal, no? I sent it to Paul going "Ohmygudpleasehelp," because I'm an insecure bastard. In a typical Paul fashion-- that being very direct, but coated with a generous helping of unsparing humor, he responded.

He's right, by the way. And we went back and fourth for a bit about approach and planning an image. It's an interesting drawing, but what does it do? This guy's some goon with a scythe just standing there. There's no interaction or engagement with anything. Graphically it works, but it can be better.

At Paul's suggestion, I gave myself an hour (double the time it should have taken me), to hash out some thumbails and complete a new drawing. I was listening to things to put me in the mood, like Velnias. This is done in gesso and charcoal and was as far as I got in that time. The hands are derpy, but I like the textures that are happening, and the hazy quality of it. I was thinking of the vampire either coming from, or dissolving into the smoky background. That's not clear enough though (ha.) and I think I was just fixated on repeating that brush stroke. 

Finished product. Hands are less derpy and the girl actually has legs now. There are some really cool things going on, but still it's a constant reminder that I need to be drawing more. Unfortunately, this image wasn't used. The band had their own artist, but truthfully, she made a much more delicate and haunting picture than I, and that works much better for the sound of the band.

I did get to use an (older) picture on the back though, which works well to offset the delicacy.

The album is out now, so please go buy it. He's a good dude, and the sound is haunting.