Friday, December 2, 2011

Becca's Viking Thumbs

Here's my idea so far for the Viking piece. I'd like to do a piece that can play to my children's book portfolio, but also have enough of a fantasy element to be a good entry for Spectrum. The image will be of a young girl and her father, who is about to leave on some sort of expedition. I'm not sure if he's going to war or trading or what - that will determine whether he's holding an ax, shield, etc. They are having a tender moment before he has to leave - I'll have to play with their expressions a bit, I'm trying to decide how stoic to make him, and how sad to make the girl. I'm going to have to do some research, but I'm really excited to design their clothing (lots of furs and heavy cloth). I plan on using a very limited palette, with muted tones except for his beard and her hair. I'm thinking of it as a book cover.

Anyhooo these are just my ideas so far, and I know these thumbs are suuuuper simple, but hopefully they get the basic idea across. Also, let me know if you think any of these might be better flipped to face the other direction.


  1. I would say I like the pose on the first one, and the shield and axe of the 5th. You could even make it so his shield is hiding almost all of her, except her head is just poking out over the shield. But the cropping and the size of him compared to her is perfect in the first one.

  2. This is going to be a great contrast Becca. Make him as gritty and grim as possible and she can be wispy haired sweetness. If you're still playing with this design you could try him looking down at her while she just hugs or both looking at each other. Intensify the interaction. But this design with him looking off into the distance (into a seascape?) and her almost eyes shut in the hug is very touching. Number 4 is cool, maybe she's a little grim too.

  3. This is going to be really nice. I agree with Craig about pushing the characters a lot to show their differences (and/or similarities), can have some nice juxtaposition. Is there going to be some kind of background? distance village, or distant ships getting ready to depart... looks like you showed a little background in the first one.

    I like the embrace of 2 + 3, and having the shield or a weapon or both would be nice.

  4. I think 1 may hit it the best. Like Craig said, their size differences are good and i think it's nice to have him stoic looking onwards to adventure while comforting her gently with his arms. I also agree that it would be great to get him all geared up for adventure too. put a shield on his back, give him little packs, an axe or sword hanging from his side. Maybe some warpaint some scars?
    I also agree that it might be nice to hint at a background behind. I like the idea of ships as it immediately makes us think of travel and adventure. or maybe other viking warriors gearing up their horses? something to tell us that he's in fact leaving and not arriving or any other reason for her to be embracing him as such.
    It may be better to have him facing to the right though if you intend this to be a book cover. It may be good to have it that way so it's as if he's looking towards the opening of the book wherein we can learn more about his adventures? but for just an image...either way works fine i think.
    Also, one final point...and I suppose this can go for anyone who wants their painting to be more historically accurate (i don't know if you do or not), there is no evidence that vikings ever had helmets with horns on them of any kind, actually. I found this interesting since nowadays it's such a synonymous symbol with vikings. Anyway, just to share.
    Can't wait to see the sketch!