After reading and re-rereading a Scandal in Bohemia, I looked through the text and found bits of the text that might translate well to imagery.
The first of which sees Holmes seated in an armchair by the fire, smoking a cigar. The image of a man in a chair seemed to me rather cliche and as I drew smoke from the cigar I began to think about what he was thinking about. As the theme of the story is this enigmatic woman; Irene Adler,constantly outwitting Mr Holmes and always one step ahead of him I thought to myself, how can I show this in an illustration in a potentially witty way and not using blatant cliche. As a smoke-like misty figure or fleeting shadow.
By removing the chair, and extending the form of the woman into a shadow, the focus of the illustration has shifted from the woman as a thought to being an overpowering dominating figure, a mastermind. The scene taking place has now also shifted to one of the later parts of the story, where Sherlock receives a letter from Irene.
These digital versions of the image were an attempt to get my ideas across more clearly and also to start thinking about colour schemes and themes that might be carried across to other illustrations.
Showing these in tutorial with Nicolas, I was told that the concept was good and the character for Holmes worked well with my personal style, as well as the colours working well. I was giving the following points of improvement that I will input into the imagery as I continue to develop these illustrations:
- I have made Holmes look bulkier, however the original, taller version was more in keeping with previous incarnations and was all round more successful
- The woman as a shadow works as a concept however in practice looks more genie-like, how can I rework this is make her more shadow-like?
- What is Holmes holding? make it look more like a particular object from the text, a letter or photograph perhaps.
- How can I make this look more like it is of the time period? look at period costumes for women and perhaps for men as well.