A witch-boy wanders woods at the full moon

detail of a drawing of the witch-boyMeet the witch-boy. He surfaced toward the end of my Inktober series for this year. I did a couple more sketches of him after the first, intrigued.

A few weeks ago I began studying intaglio again, and decided I’d like to do an etching of this guy, but that initial sketch needed some work, it was very rough. Below are four different studies I worked on my iPad of the witch-boy in various different wooded settings.

Witch-boy digital study No.1Above is the first study. I like the composition of the snow and path, but after some thought I decided that these slender trees are not quite what I had in mind; they lack mystery. So I moved one to another.

Witch-boy digital study No.2Here are some beefier trees which I can easily imagine being toned with a combination of line etch and aquatint (a way of introducing continuous tone shades to a print) I like this one! But I kept going.

Witch-boy digital study No.3On to study the third, in which I introduced a drawing of trees that I did about a year and a half ago for a record cover. While I like the prickly-ness of this forest the scale just doesn’t feel right, and the trees rather overshadow our main character here. So, another:

Witch-boy digital study No.4

This one I added a bit of color to after completing. Aside from that, I quite like this one, and it’s down to a decision between No.2 and this, No. 4. The ‘V’ created by two leaning trees creates sort of inverse proscenium for our hero, and the moon is in his view, but not in ours. It’s subtler storytelling, and also accounts for the light on his face.

Who knows, maybe I will etch both of them In the meantime, I am planning to start the little house in the bell jar from scratch, but that is a different story altogether, for another post.

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