Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alice in Wonderland illustration

just finished up my Alice in Wonderland illustration, which I am contributing to a collaborative wordless adaptation through Facebook.  

Here's a link to the album "What's The Use Of A Book Without Pictures?" by Neoflux Productions

Any artist or photographer can join in and email to claim a paragraph, which is then posted in the facebook album, later to be collected in a PDF and perhaps printed and bound for nonprofit publication, in which case all sales will go towards printing for library submissions.  It seemed like a great opportunity to practice my compositions and ink work, and get involved in a large group effort.  And who doesn't love Alice in Wonderland?

My passage sees the loquacious Duchess blathering on while Alice politely suggests she limit her words.  The piece itself is 8x10, pen & ink on scratchboard.  For those of you interested in the typical process blogging, here are shots of some thumbnails and my rough pencils.

At first I wasn't sure which direction to follow.  I wanted to shy away from replicating the familiar character designs, but I was also a bit intimidated by the prospect of a complete redesign.  I ended up getting excited about representing the Duchess and something of a grotesque, saggy old loudmouth with an oblivious enthusiasm and unintentional domination over Alice.  I turned Alice herself away from the camera in order to place the viewer in her shoes, facing up at the overbearing Duchess.

And lastly, here's an example of why I love claybord so much.  After consulting with some of my illustrator friends and graduate classmates, I realized that Alice's hand at the center of the composition just called too much attention to itself and appeared to be grabbing at the Duchess's chest.  Not critical to the overall image, I decided to scratch it out and re-ink the area.  A quick and painless adjustment when using claybord.  Kind of remind you of those 'find the difference' bar games, doesn't it?

original with 'boob grab'
adjusted drawing, sans hand


  1. Nice! I like that project, i'll check it ou on facebook. I think you made the right choice, because it looksindeed sort of likea 'boob grab'. There's so much to see, looks very good! I like the style.

  2. I agree, very good move removing the grabby hand. Great composition - with a claustrophobic feeling. Lots of beautiful texture and details.

  3. Thanks Koosje and Cindy, I appreciate the comments! The Facebook project is pretty interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out once they've filled in all the gaps for some form of electronic or physical publishing. There's so many artists involved!

  4. Alice certainly looks like she's heard enough! Both hand gestures work, although I see your point on the first one! Plenty to grab, there! Ha ha!!! Great work! And interesting project!! I will check it out!