Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Anyways, I have been able to do some sketching recently. Not sure when I'll find the time to colour these though. Could be weeks, could be tomorrow.
Friday, December 4, 2009
It was now, the night before the assault on the Witch’s land that the Scarecrow came upon the Wizard of Oz. Oscar sat on a small perch above a cliff, a clear view of the west, it’s dry rocky terrain different shades of blues in the light of the moon.
“Ah Wizard, it is late, I did not expect to find you awake, and out here at the edge of our camp.”
The Wizard looked over to the Scarecrow coming out of a tangle of bushes, clumsily getting his clothes snagged on brambles.
“You. The Scarecrow.” He did not look happy to see the Scarecrow.
“The only name I know of to be called,” said the Scarecrow. He pulled himself free of the bush, and took a seat on a flat rock nearby. “My understanding is that old men like you should be very much asleep at this hour. Is something wrong?”
“Everything is wrong Scarecrow. I see why you ask for brains. “
“In my limited time of knowing you Wizard, I have come to understand you’re not a very nice person, and out right rude at any given moment. I understand this though, as you have been a man of great position for a long time, and such power drifts you away from manners towards the common people.
But with me, you are always rude. Always quick to anger. Am I wrong in sensing that you have a stronger dislike for me than most others?”
“No. You are not wrong.”
“Ah, as I suspected. Why?”
“You have seen that I possess no magic. I am not a Wizard of Magic, but a Wizard of Machines. Of science. But you; well I look at you and my mind screams. You make no sense. You are purely a creature of magic.”
The Scarecrow nodded, “The man of science does not like the man of magic.”
“I don’t like magic period. Where I come from, one plus one equals two. Here, in Oz, one plus one equals talking chicken. It’s madness this land.”
“And yet you rule it.”
“Better to rule than serve. Grab power where you can Scarecrow. And never let it go. But I don’t hate you for being magical Scarecrow. I’ve been here so long, I’m used to the madness of Oz. It’s not hate that I feel towards you.“
“Then what do you feel towards me Wizard?”
“You know. Do not play with me Straw Man.”
“You fear me.”
“Because I am magical. You do not understand what drives this body to move, to talk, to feel.”
The Wizard pointed at the Scarecrows chest. “I could tear open your shirt, and find only straw and sticks. What scares me worse though, is not that you exist, but how you exist.“
“You are asking who made me.”
The Wizard nodded.
“You are wondering how I came to be, when magic is outlawed in your territory.”
“And you are making me think about how outside your borders, sat four Witches; women who control magic.”
“Life is the most powerful force I have encountered. To create it out of nothing is powerful magics indeed.”
“Of which only a powerful Witch could control. You imply one of the Witches made me.”
“And that is why I fear you Scarecrow. I hope to never know why one of the Witches of Oz created you.”
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I'm inspired by everything, and often in ways I find hard to explain. This poem has been in my head for days.
A leaf fell on the floor of
a subway car
all the passengers looked up at
the metal grill
every one of them expecting
to see the sky
Gary Michael Dault
Thursday, October 29, 2009
"No," said Dorothy. She started to climb back down the root she had been using to climb up. "You won't face them alone Lion."
"I'm not alone," said the Lion. "Not anymore. I will hold them off. I will fight them here and protect you. I'll fight to the death if I have to. Go please," he begged.
A strong metal arm reached down the embankment and pulled the little girl up. She yelled in protest. It was too late, and the terrible Khalidahs came sprinting into the clearing.
Click on the image for a larger view.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Anyways, here's where I'm at with it so far.
And here's a close up of the Witch of the West in the pic.
Be sure to click on the images to see a larger version.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
But when I have a spare moment, I think of Oz. I think of the blue skies, and the rolling green hills. Of the golden wheat fields, and such beautiful vibrant colours. I think of how to balance my more adult version with the beauty and wonder that Baum established. It's a struggle to try and limit how much of myself I want to put into it. I want to respect the author and the material.
I haven't been drawing much lately, but I have a back log of images to colour anyways. But we're getting into the busy season here at the ad agency, and when that happens my art and story suffer. But I hope to do some stuff soon!
That being said, let me leave you with a very cool song I found. It's a cool mix of old bluegrass and a touch of texture and darkness.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Here's the Lion saving Dorothy and himself.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
The Lion stopped before the edge of the woods and turned back to the little girl.
"There are no words for what you have done for me Dorothy." He looked back at the dark forest behind him, and then to Dorothy again. "Part of me wants to run from here. To never stop running."
"I know," said Dorothy.
"But I can't," he said with a sad smile. "I can't leave you here. Not so close to her. Tell me what you want me to do."
Dorothy looked up at the manor of the Witch of the East. "There is a Witch there. I want to bring her house down on her."
The Lion nodded. "Then I will help you. I will always help you Dorothy. Even if it means the end of this life," said The Cowardly Lion.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I discovered this song when I saw Black Hawk Down. I don't know what the song is actually about, but it's a beautiful piece that still creates a lot of emotion in me. It's haunting, sad, and probably shouldn't be listened to if you're incredibly depressed. That being said, it captures a lot of tone and feel for the world of Oz I'm trying to create. Dark, haunting, but with a feeling of magic.
I also felt that tone was appropriate for when the Witch discovers her sister is dead. The Witch remembers love, she remembers happiness, and though her heart has been black a long time, she remembers once when her sister and herself played in the fields of Oz, and they loved one another. And despite the centuries of animosity between all of the Witches, as they grew more enclosed and lonesome in their own kingdoms, there is an old love that still resides there. Enough that even the Wicked Witch of the West still has tears to spare for little sister.
Anyways, hope you love the song as much as I do.
I know this has already happened in the Gregory Maguire book "Wicked". So why am I trying to write my own version? Because I can. I didn't really like Wicked a whole lot. It had some pretty interesting parts to it, but overall I felt like it wasn't something I cared for.
To get into the physical traits of the Witch, it's commonly known that water can melt her. So I incorporated that into my design for the Witch. If she can live for such a long time, surely she's cried. And so wouldn't tears actually burn her? I took this little idea and ran with it. In the original story the Witch only has one eye. Why? Well what if because her tears eventually killed that one eye, and the other has heavy black scarring around it.
Here's a video to help illustrate this design concept.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
There's one thing I immediately love about the Witch of the West. The alliteration. Oh lordy, I love how it rolls off the tongue. I think a lot of her popularity can stem from this ingenious naming of her character. We don't care what her actual name is, nor does Frank Baum ever give it to us. Truth is, she's not that major of a character in the original Oz book. She dies half way through the book.
But I love her. And the more I draw her, the more I love her.
I don't believe in evil from birth. Nothing is born evil, unless it's a demon I suppose. The Witch was once a little girl. And before that, she was a baby. Like any of us, she was shaped by the world she lived in.
She was born into this world as innocent as any of us. She wanted love as much as you and I. But when you can live forever, things can go wrong. You can be a saint for a hundred years or a thousand. But you cannot avoid doing evil forever. And that is how the Witch came to be wicked. And sad.
Please listen to the song below. I'm not sure how much the words actually apply, but the tone the song gives, the emotions it brings out, stirs in me perhaps how The Witch felt as she lost innocence, and the darkness pulled her further and further away from love and the Light.
I'll often post songs that I listen to as I draw and write, and maybe it could help give you an idea where some of my inspiration comes from.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I'm not sure why this video has so many more views than my others. Something about it must resonate a little with people.
Either way, I'll be talking about the Witch for the next little while. She gets the best reaction from everyone when I show them my Oz illustrations. I'm also excited to talk about how I've altered her to fit my Oz, but how in some ways she's truer to the original Oz story than the movie was. In some ways.
Enjoy the video!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Dorothy is not undead. When she returns from her grave, she continues to age again, grow, and all the things other little girls get to do. She has a second life.
She wakes up in a field, somewhere in Oz. Roughly between The Emerald City and the Land of the East. She immediately encounters some Munchkins who take her with them to the East, not wanting to leave a little girl out in the wilderness on her own. Along the way they meet the Scarecrow.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
So now, all grown up, I decided to add this twist to the story we know. I think it helps place the story into the young adult section of the book store. I know, when I say "Young adult" people roll their eyes, but you may do well to recall the stuff you may have been reading at 10-14. I know I myself was reading Christopher Pike, RL Stine (Fear Street, not Goosebumps), and the Dragonlance Series. All of which have some pretty adult situations in them, without getting too explicit.
I don't think I want to go as far as Maguire did, and get really into the adult stuff (like making the Wizard a rapist). But who knows, the story evolves from one day to the next.
Back to Dorothy. She is buried by her Aunt and Uncle. A long time passes. Like a REALLY long time, and Earth isn't called Earth anymore. Four Witches come to a point, just by coincidence it's where Dorothy is buried, and they name the land around them Oz. And underneath them, Dorothy starts to come back to life.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Right now I'd like to delve into how I've altered the essence of the character in some ways. She and the Witch are probably changed the most out of all the characters in my story, compared to Baum's. Dorothy is a lot braver in my story. In the original, she spent a lot of the book hiding behind her friends, or gasping or crying a lot. This was written in a time when a little girl was seen as pretty weak, and of course she couldn't do much on her own, except for the odd bit of being clever. Of course.
I want a young girl (not too young though) to read my story and say to herself, "Yep, I could do that. I can be brave." Dorothy isn't scared of a thing, and in my story she meets many creatures and dangers that would leave me running for the hills. That's one of her powers.
Her other power is helping her friends realize their own strengths. When I use the term "power", don't think I mean she's a mutant. I mean she has a deep strength in her that makes her powerful. Strength of character and spirit, and in Oz, this gets her pretty far.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Her life crafted her to be a very strong little girl. All was not bleak though, as she found much joy in her dog Toto.
Then one day, while enjoying some rare play time with her dog out int he fields around her small farm, a tornado came down out of the sky. She ran as fast as she could, scooping up her dog on the way. Her house wasn't far, but the tornado was too fast.
Dorothy Gale died on July 8th, 1934.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
To the Tin man, the Wizard appears as a giant monster.
I started this illustration by sketching it about a week ago in my sketchbook. Just a simple mechanical pencil there. Then today I scanned it at work, and coloured it in Photoshop. I grabbed some cool textures from www.zentextures.com, and laid them in behind and over the image. It helps give my pictures that extra punch they need.
The white effect in the bottom corner is just me playing with the white brush at like 2000pts, and then dotting around. The original image is 600dpi.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
To Dorothy he appears as a giant head.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"The Tin man" was a bit of a mocking term, and almost ironic. Nick often worried about his metal parts rusting, but tin doesn't actually rust. He never bothered correcting people though. He was made of metal now, an incorrect nickname was the least of his worries.
But even more worrying than the fear of rusting, was the growing poverty in the East. The Wicked Witch of the East was slowly strangling the Munchkin land of it's resources, and in turn once simple commodities like household electricity was becoming uncommon.
Nick, the crazy metal man in the woods, found it harder and harder to find replacement power cells for his body, and one day he ran out. His body was found years later slumped up against a tree, the rust caking his cold frame; powered down.
Who found him? Oh, a little girl named Dorothy Gale.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Nick Chopper got very angry at that, and yelled at her in front of the entire community, "I don't have a heart!"
Feeling very sorry for himself, Nick left the town, never returning to it.
So rumours grew of the metal man who wandered the words, crying and fleeing from anyone who tried to approach him. Many people would find fresh stacks of chopped wood outside their doorsteps in the mornings though. He came to be known as the Tin Man of Oz, and one day he disappeared completely.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Still, when presented with the opportunity to save a life and flex his great mind, he went to work on constructing a new metal body for Nick Chopper. The Wizard had no magic. But he was a "wizard" of machinery. To the primitive people of Oz, the Wizard's great machines all seemed to be magic.
The people saw how great their leader was, Nick lived, and everyone was happy. Except Nick.
More to come!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Nick's family, desperate to save their dying son, raced his body to the Emerald City, where they were told that the Wizard of Oz could save him.
Below is the beginning of a commission I did for a friend Chris. It was for his daughter. Honestly, the colour scheme was his idea, not mine. I would have made it darker :P
His is very tragic. Once upon a time there was a man named Nick Chopper. He came from a long line of "choppers", the woodsman of the eastern country of Oz. He fell in love with a young lass. Sadly, her family believed him to be below their social status.
Monday, April 27, 2009
This is a Postcard from Oz. Just a little snapshot of the story.
Now there are some things I can't do. I can't for instance base my designs off anything from the Wizard of Oz movie. I can base off the book, but all those designs from the movie are copyrighted (as is the music).
You'll notice that my design of the Witch of the West is very different from the old Witch from the movie. The Witch in the movie is green for example. Mine is deathly white. My Witch also only has one eye, as that is what Frank Baum wrote. Now of course I go off and do my own thing with the Witch, but that's for a later post when I delve into how close I stay to Baum's book, and how I stray with each character.
Here's a closer look at the Witch though.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I'm doing this because it's fun. Really, it's a blast to come up with designs for old beloved characters. Or to really explore the origins of characters that are pretty much blank slates.
I'm not making this a darker Oz because darker is extreme and that's what the kids want these days. I'm not making this for adults only because I want to shock people. That is not what I'm trying to accomplish. The designs and writing are a bit more mature in theme, but that's just how I write and draw. I'm still trying to capture the essence of what Frank Baum first did though. I don't feel like I'm changing the characters souls. I'm just exploring them in a different way then Mr Baum did.
I don't expect to ever get published, or really anything to happen with all of this. But one day I can tell my children my own version of Oz. And hopefully they like it.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Mainly you'll see a lot of art and sketches being posted; all Oz related. I've been working on a re-imagining of Oz for a long time. Every so often I find the energy to make a video involving some of my writing and my art.