Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Drawing in Miniature

When people ask me if I have any hobbies, I usually hem and haw and end up saying things like, "I read a lot", or "not really, but I play softball".  What I don't say is probably closer to the truth, that I really don't have any hobbies, and I'm pretty boring.  The real truth is that I like to draw, but I don't believe I'm good or talented enough for this interest to qualify as a hobby, or even a very good skill.

I like to draw things small scale.  Some call this thumbnail sketching, which is a practice used by real artists to conceptualize for larger scale drawings, designs, and compositions.  I haven't really ever expanded my thumbnails into bigger things, because I don't have any real talent, and the smaller scale hides this fact pretty well.

Mythologies have always fascinated me.  Greek mythology specifically, because there is so much recorded information that has been retained over the centuries.  Compared to Norse and Egyptian, and Assyrian mythologies, the Greek mythologies much more depth because of all of these preserved sources.

I put many hours of time and research into a project meant to creating an illustrated genealogy for Greek myth.  It turned out to be a bigger project than I had intended.  The website proved to be invaluable.  Below are some photos.

three 30"x20" panels equal a 90"x20" tree. it's long
left panel
center panel

these pictures give pretty good, clear detail. I tried so hard to get a clear detailed picture of all three panels today, but its so long that I couldn't get a clear, clean shot. All illustrations are done in pencil and ink, colored with pencils and ink, on inch and half circles cut out of bristol. They are mounted on black presentation board. I put too much detail into these to completely describe it here and do it justice, if I don't say so myself.  But here is are a few close up examples: 

 The first picture is from the central pane. I used silver and gold ink to display the names of each character, which are all done with the Greek spellings. As you can see, there are symbols also which denote certain types of deities. Gaia and Ouranos both have a symbol for the Protogenoi, the first gods. I used an Alpha/Omega combo. Next to Kronos is the symbol I used for the Titans, which is a symbol used in astrology for the planet Uranus, the father of the Titans. The Olympians are wreathed in a representation of an olive branch.

After this project, I started to put together similar trees for Norse mythologies, and recently, Egyptian mythologies. These have proven to be more difficult, as there is less information compiled that makes any discernible sense. Below is my smaller Egyptian tree, extrapolated from several sources of Egyptian mythology, some of it creative fill in the blanks, and connections that may not be fact. But I did my best to organize the missing pieces.

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