I’ve been working on the next book illustration for the past day or so. This drawing features a very tall character interacting with the heroine, who is petite. I am fascinated by Golden-Age illustrators who show giants (or giant-sized characters) with human proportions. They just made them extra-tall. Most contemporary artists/illustrators show taller/larger characters with smaller heads, proportionally. This makes the characters look less human. You can see this convention used in everything from manga (Japanese comics) to movies (trolls in movies like The Hobbit or Harry Potter.)
|HJ Ford illustration showing a giant and |
a regular-sized person (same proportions.)
I like the old-fashioned approach better. Not only is it quite charming, but it gives the viewer a much better sense of the size-differential between the characters (see above). I decided to use this older approach in my new book illustration, making my tall character a larger-proportioned person instead of "pushing" his proportions and making him looking weird or inhuman. I’m pleased with the over-all feeling of the piece so far.
|Modern giants - trolls from the movie "The Hobbit." |
Notice the strange proportions and the smallish heads.