|Section of pen & ink book illustration (incomplete)|
Copyright, Sara Light-Waller 2013
Sounds a bit wonky doesn’t it? Shouldn’t starships be utilitarian and about as decorative as a Star Wars storm trooper’s white armor? NOT! At least, not in my world. Why shouldn’t a starship be beautifully furnished in exotic woods, carvings, and rich fabrics? I see absolutely no reason why not.
My newest illustration shows an important confrontation between the hero and the heroine’s brother. It takes place in the hero’s starship. I describe the ship as being very ornate and when it came time to draw a section of the interior I referred back to Art Nouveau for my inspiration. A bit feminine maybe (there’s actually a reason for this in the story) but also very grand.
In the early stages of pen and ink work (as seen in the incomplete drawing shown above) all you will see are the ink outlines. Everything in the picture has the same line “weight.” As you work further you can resolve the image by adding appropriate levels of contrast and texture to highlight certain areas of the scene. By the time I’m done with this piece, much of the heavy decorations in the background will drop back, leaving the characters much more front and center.
Sometimes, it’s really hard designing what I see in my head. In the case of this picture there’s a door visible which is not the external hatch to the outside. At first, I thought it was but then I realized that it was the door leading to the ship’s bridge. The actual external hatch door is out of view in this picture, to the left side, just off camera. Once I recalled that, the whole picture fit better with my internal vision of the ship.