Monday, January 30, 2012

The Butterfly Effect - From Concept to Carnage

During my Illustration Portfolio class at SVA, I was given a few assignments that had thinking outside my comfort zone of fan-art, super heroes and comic books and allowed me to explore other material. Here is an assignment meant to explore the nature of Chaos Theory.

I didn't know a damn thing about Chaos Theory until they mentioned the Butterfly Effect. It is based on the myth that if a butterfly where to flap it's wings in one part of the world, then a catastrophe will occur in another part. The smallest occurrence could change our world in drastic ways. So my idea would take this concept and run with it: a malicious little child smashed a butterfly, thus causing a chain of events that will lead to the destruction of the planet! I figured I draw too much male subjects already, so I made the child a bratty little girl with pigtails and overalls. Her name is Beth.

For the second draft, i wanted to explore my burgeoning inking skills with a brush. I tried to attempt some extreme perspective, having Beth looking down on the butterfly while her shadow cast upon the log to reveal the catastrophe she will rain upon the world. But I failed with the perspective, making it look like she's a tiny fairy with a glowing bat and the shadow thing didn't read well with the log.

the 3rd draft read took the shadow concept and presented a much clearer picture than the log but not clear enough. By then, the whole class had fallen in love with Beth, enough to be a bit peeved when she was lost in her own monstrous shadow. My friend Stephen gave me some tips on how to rectify this.

So after I flipped the subjects, added some color, and rendered the apocalypse with brush and ink wash, the final product was a success. There where requests to do this on a bigger canvas, but for now I'm satisfied with the results. The class was so enamored with Beth, that two of the students decided to pay homage to her through their projects. I was both a bit insulted and proud; I was proud-sulted. Seriously, who can blame them though: Beth is such a wonderful character, the little psychopath.

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