Friday, July 30, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 326 (twice)

(This was a strange time. I spent some time working on the illustration for this page, fairly happy with the color scheme and the way it was turning out. Oddly enough, at almost the same instant I completed it, the image for a second version leapt into my mind. It was a simpler and perhaps more cartoony take on the text, but I was very curious as to how it would turn out so I decided to draw an illustration for the same page again. After I finished both, I was torn. I'm not quite sure which I like best. They are both so different, yet I am fond of them both. I will only include one in this series and in the upcoming book though, so I do need to decide. I am leaning slightly toward one of them, while my wife prefers the other one a bit more. Do me a favor and in the comments section, let me know which one you prefer. I'm not promising I will use whichever one gets the most "votes," but I am quite curious to see what your reaction to these images will be. You can comment anonymously, I don't mind at all if you would prefer not to leave a name. I will probably put the one I am not going to use, the "alternate" so to speak, on the Art For Sale page. Oh, the size, media and date are the same for each piece.)

Title: You observe that in the ordinary swimming position of the Sperm Whale, the front of his head presents an almost wholly vertical plane to the water; you observe that the lower part of that front slopes considerably backwards, so as to furnish more of a retreat for the long socket which receives the boom-like lower jaw; you observe that the mouth is entirely under the head, much in the same way, indeed, as though your own mouth were entirely under your chin.

7.75 inches by 10.75 inches
ink and marker on found paper
July 27, 2010




14 comments:

  1. I definitely prefer the first option. Not only is it more "Kishy" to me, it's kind of keeping in the spirit of what Melville was up to here. He was really breaking down the whale physiology into these bizarre, disconnected, symbolic descriptions; interjecting a lot of non-fiction into his fiction. The first illustration is more like a collection of separate pieces comprising a whole, and relates to the text on a higher level.

    Not to say that the second one doesn't work, but it lacks the extra level of content, for me.

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  2. I prefer the top version on its own.

    But I like the idea of using the second image for the book, because it's more of a departure in style.

    There, that doesn't help at all, does it?

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  3. I also prefer the first version. It seems more in keeping with a lot of the whale illustrations and seems to illustrate the chosen text more accurately. I love the sort of bull-dozery head

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  4. I like the top one as well. Andy and Daryl said it better than I could.

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  5. I was immediately drawn to the bottom drawing. Maybe it was the eye, maybe it was the curves. What makes it most striking is that it's one single colour.

    After lingering over the bottom, I spent some time on the top drawing. I have to say that I see Queequeg more than the whale, but I wonder how much of that is me...

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  6. I prefer the top. Jim prefers the bottom... Typical.

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  7. Overall, I prefer the style of the top one, but I prefer the background in the second. Which doesn't help either, does it?

    I'll echo the other commenters who say that the first is more in your style, and (in my opinion) the first is closer to the text in terms of the verticality of the head and the mouth entirely below it. I don't get that as strongly from the second picture.

    Great work as always.

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  8. I prefer the top drawing. For one thing I am always drawn to color. The second drawing as you mentioned is more "cartoonish". But i do know that one of your desires when starting out with this project was to try and not stick to the same type of theme for each drawing but for each one to stand on its own as a different vision each day. That said i still like the first one best!

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  9. I also prefer the top. Much more mechanical feel that resonates with the text selection. The whale as a system of moving parts.

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  10. I really like both images, and at first I was really drawn to the second one because it is such a departure from the rest of your work. However, I think the first one captures the spirit of the text better than the second one. But as a stand-alone piece, I really dig the yellow whale--I find the simple, cartoonish use of lines very appealing.

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  11. I want to sincerely thank every single one of you who has commented (or emailed me about this) so far, I am really happily surprised with your remarks and your perceptions. I'll wait until some time Monday morning and then come back to this and add what I've decided. I know some regular visitors to this blog don't come every day so I want everyone to have a chance to respond before I make a decision.

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  12. I vote for the first, more complex one, if we're "voting." Seems more in line with the quote, especially the "vertical plane" bit.

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  13. Although I agree with all the exegetical comments about the first picture (the whale as a system of mechanical parts, etc), I still prefer the second one. It adds something quite different and quite distinctive to your (vast) array of whale-representations.

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