The Hunter And The Hunted (watercolor on paper)

This one is a bit of a conundrum. First off, it’s an old painting and it’s been on my blog for quite a while. I did scan it in again this evening on my new scanner, since the last version was so crappy, so there is something new about it. The main problem - and there are plenty with this one - is that you really can’t tell what’s going on here. Story of my life. But guess what? I know what's going on. And I’m going to tell you all about it.

Up in the trees squats an impatient Grendel-type beasty, with a large rock in his paws and a sinister-looking knife stuck in the branch by his side. He is waiting for some foolish soul to come along the path that leads past this little opening in the forest (the tiny figure coming up the path in the background). Our clueless traveller will see a bag of gold spilled out amongst the tree roots in the opening and, ignoring all the advice his parents ever gave him, nip in to collect this windfall treasure. It will be the last thing he ever does (witness the scull in the lower left foreground). The beast clobbers our unwitting fool with the rock and then hops down and finishes him off with the knife. Yeah, kind of gruesome, I guess.

Now I’m not making excuses (yes I am) but a lot of these paintings really do function better when viewed live, in the original version, so to speak. It helps to be able to say ‘what the hell is that’ and stick your nose right into them to see the hidden stuff, of which there can be quite a bit. Nevertheless – this all points to what I would call faulty or weak composition. Live and learn; that’s pretty much alpha and omega with illustration. So . . . in my later work I have tried to focus on stronger and less haphazard composition. Okay, class over for today.

By the way, there is a moral to this story. Or rather, this painting is supposed to illustrate a moral. That part you’ll have to figure out for yourself . . .

5 have said their bit, now it's your turn:

Tammie Lee said...

Your imagination and artistic creations are wonderful! Just love your style, makes me want to walk right into your paintings!

Adam Foster-Fahy said...

I could tell what was happening in the painting before I read your descrition, and was pleased that I was right. I think that with a little more work to define the creature's weapons and maybe making the unsuspecting traveller a touch larger (nearer) on the path would help resolve the narrative.

Son of Incogneato said...

I think you are on to something there, Adam. Also, the creature is supposed to bit camouflaged – that’s his trick – but his coloration is too similar to the branches and disappears from sight for the casual viewer. Otherwise I am pleasantly surprised that you managed to figure out so much without reading my cheater. Maybe it wasn’t such a disaster after all. Or maybe you have an especially good eye since you are an illustrator.

Btw – Nice blog you have. Impressive comics illustration.

Emily said...

I firmly believe any tree worth having should be a craggy tree! And these be craggy trees indeed!

Son of Incogneato said...

May all your trees be craggy. I'm pretty sure mine are.


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