Dark Tower Drawing – Campfire Outside the City of Lud

In my last post, I discussed an idea for a drawing related to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I wanted to sketch Roland and his crew outside of Lud, probably by a campfire. In the first article, I talked about some of the challenges I anticipated based on my limitations as an artist. My strength, I think, is drawing people from live subjects or photos. My biggest weaknesses are drawing scenery and drawing from imagination. Once I get outside of the main subjects, I think the quality of my sketches degrades. And coming up with a scene that only exists in my head is a major challenge for me. Before I go on, I’ll include this warning as I did in the first post; there may be some light spoilers from Dark Tower books 1-4. And please don’t post any spoilers from later books in the comments, because I’m still on book 4.

This piece turned out just okay; not awful, but definitely with some flaws. When I was sketching the ka-tet (a group bound by fate, if you haven’t read the books), Eddie and Susannah did not really turn out how I always imagined them. But the pencil went where it wanted to go, and I didn’t want to force it and possibly wreck the drawing. Roland and Jake are mostly how I imagined them though. You may notice some remnants to Roland’s left; I tried to include Oy the Billybumbler, but I was unsatisfied with how he turned out. He’s like a raccoon mixed with a dog, and my representation didn’t seem right.

I had a few details I wanted to make sure I included, and I did remember to add them fortunately. Susannah is missing her legs below the knee, and Roland’s lobstrocity-mangled hand is there. Jake has the all-important joke book in his lap, and Eddie and Susannah are eating Gunslinger Burritos. I was able to get Lud in the background, and I think the size/perspective ratio is on point…the implementation isn’t great though. But hey – it’s scenery, not my best skill.

I’ll include the drawing progression below, with a link to the first post about this at the end:
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20171007_223104~2 (2)

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First post on this topic, planning and discussion: https://jonamdall.com/2017/10/08/planning-for-a-dark-tower-drawing/

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9 comments

  • You know, looking at the final picture more and more…I really think I messed up when drawing the background city. As that hill rises towards Eddie on the left, the city buildings slant as if they’re ON the hill, when they are supposed to be behind it.

    We’ll see if my OCD allows that to stand as is. Something tells me eventually I’ll have to grab an eraser and tilt those buildings vertically, because I won’t be able to look at it without noticing.

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  • Hi Jon, I liked the phrase “the pencil went where it wanted to go…” I’ve often had the same feeling and sometimes I’m pleased with the result – Did I do that?
    I didn’t notice the buildings slightly on the slant before until you mentioned it, but I think it enhances it, not detracts – leave it as it is I say. By lifting up the left hand side of the picture then things do subconsciously roll down towards the right. In this case this increases the impression of the 3 people on the left looking towards Roland on the right. These happy accidents in art I think make it so much better than merely taking photos. Go ahead and enjoy it for what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am actually pleased with how the characters themselves turned out (where the pencil decided to go) overall! As I mentioned, two of them aren’t how I imagined while reading, but I wonder if this drawing will slightly change how I visualize the characters moving forward? It’s possible this interpretation will shape my imagination a bit for the rest of the series. Old Eddie Dean, say hello to new Eddie Dean.

      That’s a good point about eye flow and happy accidents, I never thought of it that way. Thank you for pointing that out! Definitely great to see other perspectives, and happy accidents do make art enjoyable.

      Like

  • I’m not familiar with the books or story, but the drawing is interesting on its own to me. The subjects appear happy at that moment despite some hardships (missing body parts…needing to camp just outside a city in ruins). From the arrangement, the younger two are being cared for by the people at the far left and right. The person on the right (tending the fire) has a major role as protector.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Eduardo! I have to say, that’s very insightful of you – the fact that you aren’t familiar with the Dark Tower, yet essentially pieced together the exact situation and relationships is impressive.

      I probably should have drawn the lady (Susannah) to look a bit older though I think, because she’s supposed to be older than the guy on the left (Eddie) in the books. That aside, Roland on the right is definitely their leader, and they all look to him for guidance. And in that scene, I was going for a similar vibe to a time when they were telling each other riddles by the campfire. Major trials in the middle of a journey, but some time for comradery.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great work. ❤ The Dark Tower

    Liked by 1 person

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