Illustration Notes for the TWICE Prologue
As I sat down to ‘whip out’ my first episode illustration for TWICE, I found myself with a lot of questions to consider. ‘Cause when you’re diving into a commitment to create an illustration every week—FOR SEVERAL YEARS—you want to start with a well thought through foundation, right? After lengthy consideration, here are some of my guiding conclusions about TWICE illustrations in general:
Content depicted should always be drawn from somewhere within the episode, and convey some added meaning about what’s happening—around, between or inside of the characters involved—without spoiling any of the scene’s surprises.
Most illustrations should be extremely simple—grand, elaborate scenes rarely if ever! (‘Cause, weekly for several years, and all). And image style should allow for rapid, relatively easy rendering. Nothing too ‘tight’ or fussy. (see: weekly for several years.)
Might want to consider a different visual style for illustrations of ‘Matt’s Tale’ episodes about Matthew Rhymer’s real story from ten years earlier than the current-time branch of this story involving Dusty, Colleen, Anna, and Thom. (My meaning here will become clear as the tale continues.)
As with any commercial illustration, negative space and recessive content and surface textures at the composition’s top end must serve title type legibility.
With these four principles in mind, I set out to depict The Lady in her chamber at night, receiving a startling message from ‘elsewhere’ via her supposedly mute young page. What you see here is the third version I attempted. The first two quickly became way too elaborate, too hard to place title type over legibly, and/or too revealing of impending story elements.
In the end, I decided that depicting The Lady’s startled glance back at a page we do not see was not merely sufficient, but preferable. Too much info before you’ve read the scene seemed not a great idea. ‘Ambiguity’ I’ve decided, will likely be my watchword here and throughout the series.
As for the owl after at the episode’s end—well, she did hear an owl at the episode’s beginning—and owls are messengers, no?
The last thing I should mention here is that there is usually more content to the sides of these illustrations, than you can likely see—thanks to the fact that the components of these pages are scaled and cropped in all sorts of different ways depending on whether you’re viewing them on a phone, a digital notepad, or a desktop browser. Scaling and cropping even changes widely depending on how large your desktop monitor is, and how you have your browser window shaped and sized. I have to compose these images so that there’s still something to see at the sides in the widest cropping varients, and nothing crucial cropped out in the smallest, narrowest ones. For that reason, I have realized—retroactively—that it might be a good idea to include the entire, uncropped version of each of these iluustrations at the bottom of every week’s ‘Notes on…’ pages. So here’s what the Prologue illustrations look like whole and uncropped: