Sunday, September 17, 2023

Original Art Sundays No. 369: Sharp Invitations: Esther's Hands, p. 11

 Once more, here we go! Some delays due to personal issues, now mostly resolved.

When we left, our heroine (me) was on a phone call to Mother, talking about coming out.

Read on.


The text of the letter was a challenge. I don't have the original letter any more, but it resonated with me. I tried to simulate Mother's handwriting, which was illegible to anyone but family. I will include the text in a supplement in the finished book, but here it is.

"Grandma put in a good garden this year- Should be a lot of green beans- and of course wild pie plant for when you come up-

I've been thinking a lot about you - what you're doing seems right- but be careful- sometimes the relief of making a big decision can be confused with it being the right decision

Just something to think about-

Read the most fascinating book about Ghengis Khan"

Mother didn't use periods. Everything was dashes. I debated typesetting this, but reproducing her handwriting seemed more - well, proper. 

In narrative and in design terms, this page advances the story well, but the content is static. I toyed with a couple ideas for the first panel. I wanted to convey that we were still in the same phone call without using the same visual devices. I reused the poses from the previous page and just changed the positions and expressions slightly.  I thought the split and reverse of heavy blacks worked well. And I liked the wavy line!

Panel two: I wanted an emotional moment without a close up. Too many close ups lately! The 3/4 shot of me and Mother embracing shows emotion, and shows me out of "boy cosplay" in front of family for the first time. The action lines give it a little weight. Panel 3, the letter, was a strategic narrative choice. It brought the page to a satisfying conclusion, and said something about Mother's thought processes.

Tools used on this page:

  • Papers: tracing paper, various sketchbooks, Canson Bristol board
  • Pencils: Lyra 2B graphite stick, 4B lead and holder, 2B Ticonderoga classic, tech pencil and 4B lead
  • Erasers: kneadable, vinyl eraser, Click eraser
  • Hand Tools: 6" and 14" straightedge, triangle, T-square, French curves
  • Inking tools: Dr.Martin's Black Magic ink, nib and holder, Princeton Deerfoot 1/4" mini detailer brush (can't get enough of this brush!), Kingart 8 Gold Synthetic
  • Markers: Micron 0.25, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, and Copic 0.25, Copic Brush and Micron small brush
  • And of course, Photoshop

 Next: Mother gets irritated.

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