Thursday 26 December 2013

Secret painting number 1!

At last, I can post about a couple of paintings I've been doing over the last 2 months - both were Christmas presents, so I couldn't post about them just in case the giftee saw!

The first one is from a lovely Storynexus game called Samsara, Samsara is created by Meg Jayanth, and her partner commissioned me to paint something from it. As it is a text based game, I had to imagine it completely.

The game is an interactive story set in 18th Century Bengal,and features walking in dreams.

The game tells you: 

"Samsara India, 1757. 

You have won a grand position in the Nawab of Bengal's court because of your rare and powerful talent: you can walk in dreams. But your Kingdom is threatened on all sides. 

The warlike Afghans grow restless to the North. The ambitious Maratha Empire looms from the West. And the British and French East India Companies grow more powerful, poised on the brink of a war which could engulf the subcontinent. 

You are perfectly placed to tip the balance of power. Explore the glittering courts and trade towns of Bengal by day and slip into the treacherous, delirious dreaming by night.

Find the rest of the story at:"

You play a Hindu sorcerer called a sa-ilu - someone who can walk in dreams. They serve the local Nawaab so they are generally very richly dressed and are a magician-spy. As the player, you get to travel around and investigate what's going on, and can enter people's dreams.

I was fortunate to find a set of C19th illustrations of a collection of Bengal folk tales, by Warwick Goble and used them as my inspiration. 

Here's where I ended up. I did a series of trial sketches in different styles, with different characters until my commissioner was happy with the overall feel. It was interesting working like this - he made some really good suggestions to enhance what I was painting, and the painting changed several times. We agreed I'd paint the Nawaab  being served a drink by a woman , with the Sa-ilu watching from the side. To make it feel more dream-like, I drew a night sky in one part of the picture, and daylight in another. This is what I ended up painting:

Pencil outline:

Close-up left:

Close-up right:

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