I’m presenting my project for my final test. I decided to illustrate a tale written by Neil Gaiman, an English author of short fiction, comic books, graphic novels audio theatre, films and novels for adult, young adult and children.
I came upon a little book last summer, “Odd and the frost giants” and even though if it was a children book, i bought it, read it and love it.
I appreciated it so much I decided to set my last work around it: I made 10 illustrations: graphite and photoshop works.
First I did a research about the argument: the book draws on Norse mythology and also the historical vikings.
Odd is a young lame Norseman whose father, a woodcutter, drowned during a Viking raid. His Scottish mother marries a fat widower who neglects him in favor of his own children, and when the winter drags on unnaturally long, Odd leaves his village for the forest. There he meets randomly the great gods Odin, Thor and Loki: they are in big trouble and Odd tries to help them at his best.
The atmosphere is not too dark, but quite intense. I watched lots of films and tv shows about vikings and made an illustration references resource, trying to figure out the best way to give birth to my work.
I used graphite to create intense lights and dark spots, also because is my favorite art technique and sometime i lost myself in drawing.
The palette was an important component of the work: it had to recall a frosty and north environment, wild and magic, of course. I show the gods in their anthropomorphic forms only in their last drawing, to maintain a mysterious shadow upon them.
For their iconography, I totally ignore the design created by Marvel for them, indeed I chose to study and follow the classic representation of the norse gods.
For the animal forms of the gods I researched not only realistic photos, but other representations of them in the illustration world (actually, the book I chose already came as an illustrated one, so I checked out all the works made by professional illustrators).
The final result was a series of illustrations with a short note from the book (for copyright reasons, I can not transcribe all the original text), thought for a ten-years old target.
I really enjoyed to create this project and the way I felt let me know that that’s my way, my future, my way to work being happy at the same time.