Saturday, September 30, 2017

Demon City Art Notes


  • Light: Light is more important here. Not just direction of shadows (always important) but colorlight and the modelling of things, all the gradations.
  • Horror creatures are often very simple in design but the light makes this one awful and the other one a goofy piece of rubbermask.
  • Starkness, purely drawn images, high contrast: out. At least for now. These techniques put the picture in an imaginative, abstracted space (D&Dish, noir comics) where what we want here is a version of reality. An alternate reality.
  • A wash of one specific color across the whole. This adds a color light but also picks out the texture in the paint that's already there. It reveals the underpainting.
  • Is there a wash color that doesn't work? Dark green. Grey. Haven't tried orange. Eye twitches at the thought of trying orange. Probably need to try orange.
  • Is anything orange scary? 
  • Other than the president? yes, Kubrick used orange but it was never the scary part.)
  • Properly done: an orangutan. Not etymologically related to 'orange'. Poe's Murder at the Rue Morgue one of his least successful reveals. Also one of Harry Clarke's only unsuccessful drawings.
  • This is a tangent dude.
  • The Medical Suite drawing was too pin-uppy. You don't see that every day. Everything else about that picture was too real and then those tits were like "Hey, tits!". That only works if the tone is a little less serious. It was like one of those late Heavy Metal drawings where someone put a lot of effort into the tendrilly blue jungle and it just doesn't work because boobs.
  • Daytime exteriors: the Francis Bacon strangeness of a grotesque against a pale tired background that is painted in over the grotty foreground.
  • Night exteriors: you can put little lights anywhere you want. Lights don't need a reason in the modern city, they just show up like stars in reverse gravity.
  • Inexplicable bits of architecture/infrastructure that you ignore in real life because they're new and painted and boring (Awnings with like nine steel pins holding them up.) but they will look futuristic and intricate in a picture.  And when they're old.
  • Creatures should interact with them. Rip them up.
  • Anything that can be black should be.
  • After aesthetics, the next priority is not to accurately represent the monster as a tactical obstacle (D&D) but to show how it is frightening. The Host should be able to hold it up and go "Like this" and the players go "We're so fucked". Anything: a man without a gun. A penguin.
  • Also: Just gore. The varieties of gore. A bullet going into a neck and out the other side and blood fountaining symmetrically from both holes.
  • No throwaways. No "this was fun". Each more ambitious than the one before.
  • (Until I get tired then fuck it draw a skeleton)
  • (No a bat skeletons are hard)
  • This isn't a dungeon or galaxy of monsters, not a monster manual--they don't all have to seem like they exist in the same reality. These are fragments, possibles.
  • This is not worldbuilding.
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