October 25, 2006

88: Ghost Story

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My submission for Illustration Friday's theme of ghost went from a direct take on the word to one that instead used the word as inspiration – based on a concept that you don't often hear stories about ghosts of anything but people. All living things meet an end, and if ghosts purportedly exist in human form (though I've yet to see one), why not other critters in the wild kingdom?


Considering this: hundreds of billions of birds in the world – estimated; nobody really knows for sure – all with varying shelf lives according (usually) to size. A great horned owl can survive up to a quarter-century. Hummingbirds last roughly three to five years. The common house sparrow we see just about everywhere has a maximum lifespan of a dozen years. Turnover in the bird world is fast and relentless, and makes me sometimes wonder why we don't see more dead birds just lying about. So where do they go?

This drawing illustrates a theory that most of them simply fade away, evanescing into thin air. On a summer day I can look up into the canopies of elm trees that line our street – and hear a lot more birds than I can see.

Drawn on separate sheets of paper with pen, these three sparrows were merged in Photoshop for colouring and effect-work. You can click here for a closer, more detailed look, and also here, to see the original black pen artwork on the middle bird.

16 comments:

neersart said...

i just loved ur ghost. vry vry nicely done.

Suzy said...

This is really lovely. I am taking a monoprint class and your illustration looks like a monoprint. I was surprised to see that you did this on paper and then photoshop. Good work!

Alina Chau said...

this is beautiful!! love the design!

hemelsgroen said...

Great illustration, very decorative.

carla said...

This is really a beautiful piece of work, Jeope! I love the finesse of the penwork on the original drawing...I could see that translated into a stamp. Gorgeous!

A Little Hut said...

Great work as usual Jeope! I love the detail in your ink drawing. Amazing.

Anthony Woodward said...

Nice use of layering and colour in PS

Constant Thing said...

Thoughtful idea, and beautiful details.

Melissa said...

Stunning. I love seeing the original artwork. The thick outline is great.

You keep getting better and better.

Jeope said...

Thanks, people! I really enjoyed the way this one turned out. Straight-up ink drawings like these are always a favourite.

Michelle Lana said...

cool work!

Q. said...

Jeope:
This is intuitive, smart and just plain beautiful. Nice that is WASNT a halloween idea....more about shadows, transition and how past and future is part of the present.

I look forward to more of your work.

sage said...

wonderful!

S. said...

I would really like to use this sparrow illustration. Could you please email me to let me know if this is possible? Thanks!
-Stephanie

Jeope said...

Hi Stephanie,

You will need to provide me an address first! Your profile link is secured, so I have no access via that route.

Larktavia said...

Sorry about that. I changed my settings. Email away! Thanks.