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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Under the Rainbow

I'm very stoked to announce that within a week, I'll be presenting the second in our WMS series of gallery exhibitions. This new show is a tribute to "The Wizard of Oz"; one of our many licenses at WMS, and this private gallery showcases just a bit of the passion behind our love of the 1939 classic film.

In this show, artists (and anyone who simply loves the story) were welcome to create artwork for our "Artists Among Us" gallery. Supported by Warner Bros. themselves, this is expected be a great event and a real showcase of our company's broad ranges of style and talent.

One of the pieces I'm putting into the show is called "Under the Rainbow". It presents a vision of Dorothy Gale who has full control over the power of the Ruby Slippers. She can now transport herself from Kansas to Oz at will.

"Under the Rainbow"

Below is the original sketch. I had this vision of Dorothy while I was on a plane ride overseas in December. At this time, I was just racking my brain for ideas to create for this show, and this was one of 3 that I immediately took to. The idea of showing Dorothy in control and carefree was very alluring to me. Seeing her in the eye of the storm and not a fear in the world would show a side of confidence that Dorothy only adapts towards the end of the film - so wouldn't it be cool to see her go beyond that? 

I decided to approach this in gray scale - which isn't the norm for me. Seemed like a nice way to try something new (I usually have my thoughts on color immediately and commonly jump straight to it). Given that this would be mainly a sepia toned piece, this seemed like a natural opportunity for mostly value exploration. 

You can see how squat and ball-like Toto was at this early phase - I just wasn't thinking too much about him here. In the end I would have liked something a little more dynamic for him pose-wise.

Things begin to take shape as I reference farmland images and cloud formations. In my early thoughts on Dorothy, I had her mouth drawn as just a very wide line, which I liked as it promoted a solemn confidence. In the end, I went with a wide smile to make her seem generally happier. Sometimes these decisions just come down to how I feel at the time. I pictured this portrayal of Dorothy almost in an Anime style, so I resisted some temptations to push her closer to her actual Judy Garland likeness, even though I had the reference for her right next to the illustration. 

There was originally a path with a ground plane visible, but that later got covered by dust and debris of a more turbulent storm. All the ground details were the last elements I put in. 

I played around a lot with the intensity of the rainbow. At first I thought it should be bright an vivid, drowning Dorothy in saturated color - but it just felt too forced and unbalanced to me, and I ended up going with a more subtle approach.

Thanks for reading and I hope you've enjoyed my development story. 

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