Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Girl and the Eagle

Yesterday on Facebook I was posting that my next book illustration has something to do with a girl and an eagle. In the illustration I’m showing a very petite young woman and a rather large bird. Needless to say, the eagle looks even larger when placed near the girl.

The illustration style I've chosen for my books owes a lot to Golden Age fairy tale illustrations. Fairy tales and myths have visual conventions associated with eagles. Eagles in fairy tales are always large (see the giant eagles in the "Lord of the Rings" movies) and frequently magical. The eagle in my books is a rather major character and the illustrations that include him have to show him as being visually important. This adds another layer to getting the size differential between the two characters just right. At the moment, I’ve got something in final pencils I think works pretty well. Of course I won’t know for sure until I’m done with the final inks. ;-)

Several years ago I did a sketch of these two characters for one of the chapter covers of Privateer Princess that we never got to. It'll give you an idea of the two characters.
Privateer Princess Mile Cover Sketch
The eagle belongs to the man the girl loves and in this sketch she's crying because she thinks her love has died. Looking at it now, I can well imagine doing the final drawing over again in a more dramatic way. No times for that now though...back to the book illustrations.

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