Monday 12 January 2015

He looked just like...

To totally understand where this one comes from, I give you this part of an article from your friends and mine at Wikipedia...

"The Person from Porlock was an unwelcome visitor to Samuel Taylor Coleridge during his composition of the poem Kubla Khan in 1797. Coleridge claimed to have perceived the entire course of the poem in a dream (possibly an opium-induced haze), but was interrupted by this visitor fromPorlock (a village in the South West of England, near Exmoor) while in the process of writing it. Kubla Khan, only 54 lines long, was never completed. Thus "Person from Porlock", "Man from Porlock", or just "Porlock" are literary allusions to unwanted intruders who disrupt inspired creativity."      

I hope this "Person from Porlock" (PFP) will be a continuing character.  He can be so many things, the devil, a trickster character, a disrupter, a creativity killer, a personification of procrastination and probably a bunch of other things, but judging from the amount of difficulty I had in coming up with a pleasing design for the man himself, this may be the first and last we see of him!

I was going for a Disney-like style and I wanted the young, long-haired man (Coleridge) to be frightened even horrified by PFP , which I think I successfully achieved, but I intended to suggest Coleridge's face was illuminated by looking at PFP's face, but amid all my attempts to generate a design for PFP and then my hurry to finish the inking, I didn't do the illumination - the way the final piece was staged, it wouldn't have made sense anyway - we need to see the shoulders and back of PFP's head to indicate where that glow might be coming from.

My problem was that I couldn't come up with a body type that worked.  Who is this PFP? Is he young or old, stooped or huge and fat or muscular?  I wonder if I'm the first to ask that question!

As for what was going on in each of the 6 images above... 

1) Initial composition.  I could imagine a high angle looking down on Colerige, but it all felt too tight.  

2) Working out a design for Colerige.  I only did 2 drawings as I didn't want to spend too long on this piece, and then I spent hours working on PFP!

3, 4, and another that was erased out) Trying to work out a good design and pose for PFP. Notice he's holding a mask away from his face with his right hand.  I like this idea and may go with it if I ever do more.

5) Actually a compilation of 3 drawings, a background, Coleridge and PFP's hand holding up the envelope.  Nice high angle behind PFP, reused the drawing of Colerige from page 2.

6) The final inked result.  

I gotta say, I'm not too pleased with this one - don't care for the inking, I liked the rough lines better than the final, I wanted to show more of PFP (like in page 1) but it's done and out there now and as we all know, one reason for doing this blog is just to do the stuff and put it out there and shove out my attempts at perfection.


  1. Illumination? Design of Mr. P? Composition?

    Who cares?

    Who cares about all of those trifling details when the drawing is so damned good?!!

    Coleridge is fantastic. His body language, his hands, his diminished size -- all perfect and all we need to know.

  2. Who cares?! I care!

    But it's funny the difference between how the drawer sees it and how the audience does. I had expectations and I don't think I met them, you see what I achieved and are pleased with that

  3. It IS funny. You were all preoccupied with the mysterious visitor, but you nailed the emotions of the guy looking at him. Maybe that was better. Maybe you were right to leave the visitor to our imaginations and instead concentrate on the reaction he causes.

    That -- excellently drawn -- reaction tells us LOADS about the visitor.

  4. I knew the PFP had to have his face unseen - it's that classic (Hitchcock) thing of leaving something unseen which it turn makes that thing much more threatening/scary or whatever.

    And that makes me remember someone talking about how they preferred radio shows over TV shows because as he said "The pictures were better!"

  5. That must have been a very old someone.


Thanks for your input!