May 18, 2007

> Thumbnails, graphite on bond, 4.5 x 8".

"The Good Prince" storyline continues after last month's cute, sugary celebration. I was fortunate enough to read the script for this issue again, and it was full of beautiful moments.

> Sketch, graphite on bond, 5.5 x 8.5".

Fables 65 evokes a sense of the monumental, memories of history painting, of wordless courage, self-castigation and sacrifice. The covers to "The Good Prince" storyline should feel like watching a statue slowly crumble in a withering sand storm, the colors revealing themselves over time. Thus, the compositions have tended to be more static and heavy than usual, the coloring muted and somber; in this case, there's the strong horizontal of the improvised litter perpendicular to the standing figures, the prostrate knight, and the curve of the tiger's backbone echoing the movement of the procession, the ground subtly 'sinking' from the weight of the composition while the Prince's gesture struggles to defy gravity.

> Painting, charcoal, ink, and acrylic on Rives BFK, 20 x 30".

After completing the drawing in charcoal and ink, I sprayed it with some some fixative and coated the paper with a few layers of acrylic medium. I glazed in some burnt sienna for the orange coat of the tiger and it was the first section to be finished. The rest of the details took a few more days to finish.

> Finish, Photoshop CS2, 7 x 10.5", 600 dpi.

I removed some of the yellow from the original painting, and the cover was done. Looking at the finished image, I recalled a John Singer Sargent painting called Gassed. I remember seeing it at the National Gallery of Art in Washington during a school trip; everyone in my painting class seemed to worship Sargent at the time, in awe of his edge control and handling of light. But "Gassed" was the most interesting painting because it wasn't about beauty, it was a painting in service of an idea, the repetition of figures creating a formal rhythm, at once abstract, subjective, and sublime.