The Exorcist
The Exorcist (1973)

Those who know me (or at least read my IMDb reviews) also know that my all time favorite horror movie is William Peter Blatty's the Exorcist. Not only is it my favorite horror film, but it also sports my favorite poster and/or cover.

What can I say? I like the darkened silhouette of the exorcist standing at the gate beneath a street light. It's a wonderfully composed, surprisingly complex, image that works on a number of subtle levels. Inherently eerie from lighting and presence of silhouettes (not overplayed), but it also works as symbolism as Regan's last hope with him shrouded in light. It's both the image of a wandering soul looking for his place, and the prelude of a showdown between two powers. It reflects the tone of the film, and accurately describes the movie as a whole in a single image.

Again, I love this poster.

If nothing else, I wanted to recapture as many of those sensations with my simplified rendition (the house in the background has been eliminated, drowned out by the light), and I think I did a pretty fair job overall. Among the render's successes: the shadows of the stone walls (not to mention the bricked textures), the darkness along the top of the frame and how the light fades into it, the shadows at play on the ground, the potted plants resting upon the gates, and the gate itself to the right of the exorcist.

As for the exorcist, himself, and the lamppost I'm not as enthusiastic. Both of them lean to the left which, subtle as it is, takes away from the overall impact of the image. But the weakest link is the car in the driveway that isn't properly shaded as I didn't know what to do with it by the time I stopped working on it.

When I set out to draw this image, I worked on it for awhile but eventually wound up abandoning the project as I came upon the detailed shading (hence, the car and also why my rendition is not as dark as it should be.) I realized too late that the exorcist and the lamppost leaned to one side, and having reframed the image to lose the window bothered me. In the end, I quit working on this drawing because I could not meet my end-result expectations (expectations set much higher than the initial expectations.) I do somewhat regret leaving it unfinished; however, at the same time I know I would never be completely satisfied with it. So, it's just as well.

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