Friday, 9 November 2012

Bloody Chamber

A staple of illustration courses, in particular my own, the assigned project was to look at Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, a series of reimaginings of classic fairytales by the likes of the Brothers Grimm et al.
For this particular venture I was assigned the tale The Werewolf (a loose adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood) and had to produce a series of, at least, six images chronicling the whole story.
I started by reading and breaking down the text into particularly noteworthy events and passages, that conjured the best visual imagery.

Initial sketches of passages whilst analysing the text.
A hand (or paw) is a big feature of the story, so I decided to focus on hands/feet/paws for the scenes I was illustrating. This provided a good way to convey the action in particular scenes without getting bogged down in replicating the text to the letter.
Also since the tale is quite bloody, and based on Little Red Riding Hood, it seemed fitting to have red as theme in the images. I decided the visuals should be black & white with a particular feature highlighted in red. This was easy for the violent scenes and subsequent featuring of blood, but did result is some rather contrived methods of incorporating red into the preceding images.

Preliminary layout roughs for chosen scenes:

Mildly contrived use of red for the knife handle and the claws of the wolf (also the ring in the previous photo), kinda appropriate for the sock, and obviously works fine for the blood.

Red works much better for the scenes after the wolf attack, because of the severed limb. Although, again, bit of a stretch with the spectacle frames.

Red on the stones for final image is questionable.

Quick summary of the story (spoilers): The protagonist is tasked with delivering a basket to her grandmother. She is also armed with a knife for protection en route. Whilst travelling she is confronted by a wolf, which then attacks her, but she is able to use her knife to cut off its paw. The wolf beats a hasty retreat and Red wipes the blood on her apron and wraps up the severed paw, for reasons. She eventually makes it to Grandma's where she finds said matriarch feverish and delirious in bed. On closer inspection she finds her grandmother's hand has been cut off. She goes to check on the paw and finds it has become a hand - complete with her grandmother's ring. She denounces her granny as a witch and a werewolf and the towns people chase the old lady into the street and stone her to death.