Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 375

Title: But far beneath this wondrous world upon the surface, another and still stranger world met our eyes as we gazed over the side. For, suspended in those watery vaults, floated the forms of the nursing mothers of the whales, and those that by their enormous girth seemed shortly to become mothers.

8.25 inches by 12 inches
ink and marker on watercolor paper
September 14, 2010


  1. hi matt
    this is so lovely milky and gentleand - scrolling back - the page before i grand! the big red eye blue - and back one again the eyes red
    i love those!

  2. I like the perspective and sense of foreboding on this piece.

  3. Wow. Really brilliant--it reminds me of some of the work of European comics artists, like Joann Sfar or even Trondheim. I think it's the milky coloring and the really skillful linework. Just fantastic.

  4. Thank you Lizzy, I wanted to create something that was both wondrous and slightly foreboding and I hope I succeeded. That milky effect was actually the happy accident of blending 3 different inks (indigo, blue and black) together in a lot of water, brushing on two different layers, and then letting them dry unevenly. I love how the inks sometimes separate and dry into streaks and pools of sometimes noticeably different color.

    That eye thing was very intentional, I'm glad you noticed. Blue for calm, red for angry. Perhaps a bit simplistic, but this is my "Moby-Dick" after all and that's how I see it in my head.

  5. Thank you Sean, I was really struggling with this one. I really wanted a sense of depth, perspective and transparency and as I mentioned above I wanted the page to be both wondrous and unsettling. It turned out a bit better than I had hoped, so I was pretty happy with it.

  6. Thank you Rudy, and it is remarkably perceptive of you to mention those French artists. Trondheim is a constant influence, definitely, and for this picture I was looking A LOT at some of Moebius' black and white work. I was originally going to go with something full of lots and lots of thin delicate lines, but I was still trying to find a way to show that, in the image, the viewer sees both the surface of the ocean as well as what's beneath it. Nothing was really working right for me, and I am certainly no Moebius. Finally though, I noticed how, in one of his drawings, Moebius had included some white foam on the surface of the waves and that got me started enough to finish this. All in all, this is one of the most artistically challenging pieces I've created, but I think a lot of it works pretty well so I feel good about it.

  7. what an insane and fantastic idea for a blog!!! amazing work.

  8. Thank you very much, editor. It has really been a strange and fantastic journey thus far. So much has changed since the early days of this project, and so much has happened that I never dreamed would even be possible. I do hope you'll stick around until the end. Only 176 more pages to illustrate.


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