BC_Blog

Colour variations for Bible Cartoons


Posted 06 Dec 2012

In November 2012 I started creating multiple versions of a single Bible Cartoon (BC.) Previously I have created a single cartoon, with shading, highlights, & other design elements, all working towards that one picture. As I was working on the ‘Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 09 – Gifts’ cartoon, I realised that I could add various colour layers & create the same scene, but with quite different colour emphases. Here are the 3 variations of that picture for you to see what I mean:

Matthew 02 - The Nativity - Scene 09 - Gifts (Starlight version)
Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 09 – Gifts (Starlight version)


Follow this link to see this Bible Cartoon on the BC Gallery page, with download & purchase options:
Bible Cartoon: Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 09 – Gifts (Starlight version)

This version is what I had in mind originally for this scene. I wanted to create strong, cool, white highlights from directly overhead, produced by the starry sky. I have seen the effect of moonlight at night on a scene, where the cool light “washes out” most of the colour of objects. I was trying to achieve that effect, whilst still having the contrast of the warm glow of the candle/torch/oil lamp in the stable, to counteract & contrast the cool starry light.

What to do?!


I created the initial colouring of this scene, & then added layers to simulate the cool starry light. I realised that this would “rob” the scene of its colour. I wanted to remain true to my initial design, which focussed on the strong tonal contrast of the starry light above & deep shadows below the figures & objects. I normally create side highlights & shadows in my pictures, but this design was a departure from that norm, which was exciting… how would it turn out!?

I was in a bit of a quandary though, as I realised that this high contrast, low colour scene would probably not be popular with anyone else! I think most people like my cartoons for their more vivid colours & I imagined that one without much colour in it might not be very well received.

Then it hit me: why not provide more than one version of the same scene on the BC website? That way I can remain true to my initial design (the starlight version) AND provide alternative versions, which may be more popular with viewers… & my buying customers!

Remaining true to my initial design & inspiration is very important to me, as an artist. Without that I am ‘merely’ providing a commercial product, which can rapidly become a rather soul-less way to operate & live! And I have NEVER wanted to live that kind of life, especially as an artist.

Of course this kind of artistic integrity is very important, but I couldn’t ignore the possibility that some/most/all other viewers of the scene might not like my starlight version! And I realised that it is also important to me that people view & buy my work… customers purchasing the work enables me to draw new scenes & keep the BC website “on air”. Without that patronage there would be no cartoons & no BC website at all, so the commercial importance of the scene didn’t escape my notice either!

Matthew 02 - The Nativity - Scene 09 - Gifts (Colour version)
Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 09 – Gifts (Colour version)


Follow this link to see this Bible Cartoon on the BC Gallery page, with download & purchase options:
Bible Cartoon: Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 09 – Gifts (Colour version)

This version concentrates on the colours of the figures, clothing, stable, animals, etc. The depth of the shadows & the high contrast of the highlights produced by the starry sky overhead is more subtle, and less dominant in this version of the scene. The warm glow of the cangle/torch/oil lamp in the stable plays an important role in creating a cozy feeling in the viewer. This is the version that I believe many of my viewers/customers will like. It should “tick the boxes” for many viewers, & hopefully achieve some sales too.

Matthew 02 - The Nativity - Scene 09 - Gifts (Blue version)
Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 09 – Gifts (Blue version)


Follow this link to see this Bible Cartoon on the BC Gallery page, with download & purchase options:
Bible Cartoon: Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 09 – Gifts (Blue version)

This was the third & last variation which I tried of this scene. I wanted to create a rich, turquoise layer which would sit over everything, providing a unifying colour throughout the scene. I like the way this came out, even though it wasn’t my initial design concept for this scene. That’s why I made it available along with the other 2 variations. After noticing the three wise men in the foreground, the warm light from the stable focusses the viewers attention on the Nativity scene itself: the arrival of Jesus in our world. I like the fact that this scenes’ most dominant feature is the birth of Jesus: the saviour & true light of the world.

Since this scene was uploaded to the BC website I have produced two more scenes in the Matthew Nativity series which also have multiple colour variations. I think this will become a frequent occurrence from now on in my designs. The two other scenes are:
1) Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 12 – Flight to Egypt
2) Matthew 02 – The Nativity – Scene 14 – Return to Israel



Comments

Comments are turned off for this article


Go to Blog Archive page