Reaper of Dreams

Now this came completely out of the blue. At work, I was walking up to the copier/fax machine to get a confirmation printout, and poof—the pose with the scythe popped into my mind. I was still at work because it was rush hour, and I’d rather stick around the (empty) office for fifteen-twenty minutes and doodle or what not than sit in traffic with a bunch of psychopaths. So, I sat down with a clean sheet of computer paper and started to sketch out this unnamed idea.

Again, all I had was the pose (the girl with the scythe and one arm behind her back). No references, no sources of inspiration, no idea what the background would be (or if there would be a background, period.) Just the pose. I didn’t even have her outfit or a design for the scythe. I literally was designing this image while populating it, and pretty much everything I initially sketched stayed.

One exception—I drew a moon in the early line-work stage but phased that out in favor of all clouds. I’ve drawn lots of moons, and it’s getting to become something to which I default ... kinda like how I draw women wearing something that shows their bare-shoulders. Yeah, her top hangs off one shoulder, but only one ... and I liked that top (kinda iffy about the corset, though.)

Weak points: there’s some forced perspective problems (especially apparent if you follow the fence all the way back.) My drawings never have the depth that I’d like. There’s also some minor proportion issues with the girl (most notably: her knee is too low on her leg.) The sky I started to render realistically, but it drifted to surreal and now it exists somewhere between the two. I really wish I had just reshaped it (again) and gone completely surreal and made the clouds more silky and ... suggestive.

Strong points: Check out the house in the background (seen through the fence just to the left of her)! I’m getting more ambitious and better at rendering effects like that where as before I almost always avoided them because “that’s too much work.” Also, this is the entire page scanned so my positioning on the page is pretty good (not perfect, but...). Plus the background and foreground are decently integrated consdering they were inspired seperately (yet developed together.) She looks like she’s occupying the space and she looks like she’s standing (some of my other figure drawings don’t look appropriately weighted.) I’m most proud, however, of the rhythm and focal points in this drawing—how her body, the scythe, and the shadow form a triangle for the eye to follow around. If nothing else, it’s better than the Nissa drawing I did a long time ago.

Materials: Mechanical pencil and printer paper, and yes, it was a bitch to shade.