Fairy Tale Sketch Challenge Day Seventeen – Godfather Death

For Day Seventeen of my April Fairy Tale Challenge I drew Godfather DeathWell, I drew another fun one with Godfather Death. I always find it a bit of a catch twenty-two on just how to do a lot of these illustrations, especially when it involves stock characters like Death. At one level there’s no reason to do him as the skeleton with the scythe. After all, in the story, all we’re given as a description are withered legs and cold hands. I could at least give him flesh like in Seventh Seal or do something completely different like Neil Gaiman’s goth cutie… And if I were working on a longer project I’d be more than happy to. But for something quick like this you need to do broad strokes that appeal to the viewer’s cultural vocabulary… so walking skeleton it is (scythe optional) I went with something a little more affluent with a dark coat with a fur lining rather than the usual which I am positive were originally monk’s robes.

As for the rest of picture the lighting was the trickiest bit. At first, I figured I’d do a couple of candles in the dark cave and braced myself for a lot of crosshatching… then I realized just how many candles that would be. I may have botched the shadowing on the figures. I’m mostly happy with this though I still think it’s a little too close to Maurice Sendak’s version. In hindsight, I think having the candles in the foreground might have looked better.

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