"Hey, you're not always awful. How would you like to fill in a page?"
I'm pretty sure that was how I was commissioned to do something for the new The Thing art book(out by Printed In Blood). Maybe Steven was a little more tactful, but it's basically the same I guess. And The Thing is a movie that was not only great when it came out, but still really holds up right now. In a movie that is full of so many great scenes and themes and visuals, what do I want to do?
Draw that fucking dog.
Talking this over with Jerry, it becomes very clear very quickly that THAT is what EVERYONE is gonna want to do. Sooooo......what else?
After watching it again to get a fresh feel, I centered in on when it starts to dawn on MacReady realizing that he's not gonna make it out of this. Because he has no fucking idea what to do against the something(s) that is(are) coming. And that quote...
So I want to do something bleak. No surprises here I guess. But I pull the scene to outside to try to get the feel of the amazing outdoor blistering winds and snow. Now it's thumbnail time.
OK, I think I know where I want to go with this now.
The first thing that I decide in turning the thumbnail into the full size drawing is that Mac is too big. Waaaay too big, if dread and despair is where I'm trying to go with this. If he was inside, it might be different. But I felt that shrinking the figure helped him "get lost" in the overwhelming outside conditions that he can't even begin to consider controlling. So I shrunk him down and moved him off center, down to the lower right. this also gives extra room for the type to breathe(and hopefully overwhelm).
After digitally sketching MacReady and printing it on a 11x17 Bristol, I wanted to create a sense of texture for the snow. I thought an interesting way to do this was by tearing up newspaper and creating physical levels going across the page. And I deliberately made the "wind" go uphill, showing how much harder it's about to get for him. And I now have rubber cement everywhere. Perfect.
Now it's time to break out a couple of blue oil bars to go over the newspaper. Looks just like snow...I hope I didn't overly fuck this up just now...
After going in with white oil bar and some white paint and a razor blade for scraping, I'm feeling much more assured that this will not be super cringe inducing to look at. But where's Mac?
OK, there he is(thanks to a heavy handed ebony pencil drawing). And I was thoughtful enough to include his buddy Jim. You remember him right? Jim helped Mac finally beat the chess computer. With "strategy".
And I think that the move to reduce the figure really lets the type and "snow" look like they are overtaking him, especially after going back in with the white oil bar to cover some of the line drawing.
I really liked how this ended up, and I'm proud to have this in the massive new art book. And I guess I know what I'll be watching later on tonight now.