Planning for a Dark Tower Drawing

Lately, I’ve been really into the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I’ve always been a big Stephen King fan, and I enjoy fantasy novels, so it’s actually really strange that it’s taken me so long to start the series. I’m currently on book 4, Wizard and Glass; so I’m right at the half-way point (please, no later-book spoilers in the comments). Actually, speaking of spoilers, there may be some light spoilers in this post from books 1-4; if you haven’t read up to Wizard and Glass, and want to be completely spoiler free, you may want to stop reading.

I’ve got in my mind this scene I want to draw. It has Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy all sitting by a campfire in the vast plains ahead of the City of Lud. I think it’d be a really cool scene, and might make a great picture. The challenge here I think speaks a bit to my limitations as an artist, if I’m frank about it. I am pretty decent at drawing things I see; live subjects, from photos, etc. Drawing completely from imagination is much more difficult for me, so I’m curious as to how this is going to turn out.

The most iconic character, naturally, is Roland Deschain of Gilead. The ol’ Gunslinger. I think most people automatically associate him with Clint Eastwood characters, and because of that strong association, I wanted to practice on him first. I feel like the other characters are a bit more open to interpretation, so I was less worried about that for the rest of the ka-tet. I decided to try a free-hand sketch (by which I mean no grids) of Roland, and here’s my first effort:

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I feel pretty good about that design for Roland. It’s very Clint Eastwood-ish I think, with that classic The Outlaw Josey Wales pose. For the rest of the crew, I have some inspirational ideas; I always imagined Eddie Dean as sort of a wiry Rufus Sewell type, Susannah Dean as a bit like an older Zoe Saldana, and Jake as a generic scrawny kid. I guess Oy will be modeled after a large raccoon/weasel thing.

I started on the drawing, but now that I’ve gotten into it, I think I may be working too small (standard paper size). I’m not sure at this size that I can get enough detail in the faces, and as I said, is my imagination up to the task? I’m sure once I get into it, I’ll add a hat for Roland, and make sure he’s missing the right fingers. And I’m not sure why I gave Jake a baseball cap…I’m pretty sure he didn’t have one in the books, but I popped it on there to help him look like a kid. Also, I haven’t started Oy, but I think I’ll put him in the space next to Roland. Also, I want the city in the background, so we’ll see how that goes!

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4 comments

  • Looks awesome so far! I’m excited to see the evolution here. Your commentary on drawing from life/pics versus imagination was interesting, because I’m the opposite. I have a much easier time drawing from imagination than real life, always been that way. Never did well with still lives or art class for that reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I definitely admire people who can put what they see in their brains to paper. A great example is that blood hound painting you posted to your site yesterday – it’s incredible!

      I’m not sure if you’ve read the Dark Tower, but in terms of drawing, I think I’m sort of like Roland. Not especially creative, but capable of being technically proficient.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I always say the same thing about people who can draw what they see and interpret it on the paper. My trick is to think of a concept then study images that may fit into that concept and then try to combine them. So for fox, roadkill would be applicable, as gross as that is.

        I’m a huge King fan, but I have yet to read Dark Tower. I’m currently about 3/4ths of the way through It and near finished with The Shining.

        As to the creativity vs proficiency vs technicality, they all culminate into a finished and unique product. I think they aren’t static, either, so you can always work towards improving different aspects of your work. My biggest weakness in terms of drawing is definitely my technical line-work and perspective placement. I’ve gotten good at hiding mistakes with my (heavy) shading.

        Like

  • Pingback: Dark Tower Drawing – Campfire Outside the City of Lud | Amdall Gallery

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