Friday, January 13, 2017
This is a mock-up poster/cover for Rish Outfield's fantastic short story, "Rest Stop," which he performs solo on his podcast, "The Rish Outcast," while he's not co-manning The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine or the That Gets My Goat podcast.
I randomly messed around with the snowfall layer and discovered a particularly spooky look here, which I could buy as a final, but it felt just a little too dead-on "horror." I didn't want the image to be too blatant; it had to feel mysteriously sinister, like a sinking feeling something bad might happen.
I initially started with the hag's mug looming over everything, but it just didn't feel correct, so I ended up abandoning this take after checking on and liking the hagless version. I like the empty space building suspense as you travel down the image, plus it allowed for a super subtle face in the snowfall.
Ultimately, it felt more important to emphasize it's the dude's story and the hag is only vaguely part of it, making it feel wiser to keeping her merely implied. The hood was briefly story-accurate brown, before going green-black to blend into the hair/forest/depths, so the hag does still survive into the final image.
This piece involved a little unconventional processing for me. Normally I'd fully draw and color everything then go over with heavier core shadows, but this time, I just colored the rim lighting after getting the figures' structures down. Painting the snow was perhaps my favorite part, it's just so relaxing as always.
Here's the original sketch that started all of this. While listening to "Rest Stop," I kept envisioning a cool/creepy poster like this, and am happy to have been able to translate it into a finished piece. Rish Outfield is an excellent storyteller in the entire sense--that is, a phenomenal writer and performer of story--and his stuff really fires up my imagination, so I'm eager to try my hand at another story.