Sunday, 23 October 2016

Arrival at Furaha V: done!

Here is the result of all the previous processes. Is the painting ready? Mostly, yes. There is always a possibility that I decide to change something one day. Sometimes, when finishing a painting, I feel certain that the way it is then is the way it will stay. In other cases I am much less certain, and the 'arrival' painting is one such. It will probably undergo some changes in the future.

Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk
But here it is, for better or worse. The original is 6000 by 4200 pixels, so what you see here is much reduced version. A problem of this design is that it was difficult to work out how much detail and colour there should be in the foreground. One extreme would be to paint the foreground as pure silhouettes, and the other would be to add strong lights in the spaceship so every detail in the foreground stands out. I decided on something in between, and the balance turned out to be tricky: with too much light on the walls these start to be disruptive, in particular in view of the array of colours I gave them, in an attempt to give them a brushed metal look. But it is easy to darken or lighten specific layers in a digital painting, so I can tweak the settings later. I will not look at it for a few months and then it should be obvious whether the balance needs to be changed.

Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk
Here are the protagonists, Giorgios Bruijningh and Souren Nyoroge. It is interesting that in close-up the colours are much more obvious than in the overall view, in which they are more or less swamped by the planet. The lettering on the window is an attempt to add a bit of futurism. The text is in Neolat, an adaptation of Latin that is very easy to learn for speakers of Romance and Germanic languages. That, at least, is the 'in universe' statement: on our world Neolat does not exist. It could do with another font, but I have not found something suitable yet.

Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk
And here is the ship's cat. This fragment also brings out the Art Nouveau decoration on the floor. I took this from the internet, reworked them a bit, deformed them to get the corrected perspective, and positioned them on the floor as a transparent layer.

So far, I had not painted the technology of this universe. I do not really want to, as it would detract from what it is all about, and also because I do not think I would be good at it. But Spugpow's remark regarding art Nouveau was right on the mark. I may write about that subject another time, but my preference for the aesthetic sensitivities of this future civilisation would be much closer to Art Nouveau and steampunk than to cool, sleek and empty designs. The 'bandes dessinées'  by Schuiten and Peeters come close. Their series on the 'cités obscures' are close to what I would like to see. Have a look at a Google image search of their work here, read the Wikipedia article, or go their own website. The books do not seem to be readily available in English for reasons I cannot fathom.

Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk
Finally, it struck me that the painting would serve well as a book cover, so here is the novel 'An unexpected friendship', by one Sigmund Nastrazzurro, a hack writer of little fame.


Spugpow said...

Awesome final result!

I really like the nouveau stylings you added in. It seems likely that, as manufacturing methods advance to the point where the cost of detail becomes negligible, decorative aesthetics will return in a big way. Also that hand-crafted things will gain prestige in tandem with rising automation. Even disregarding that, every style has had a revival at some point (with Frank Lloyd Wright and co's Mayan revival buildings being one of my favorite examples).

Out of curiosity, did their clothes come just from your imagination or are they based on some real-world costume?

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Spugpow: Thank you. We apparently agree about the future of manufacturing: once upon a time labour was cheap, so was workmanship, and hence objects were decorated. Then labour became expensive and machine construction became cheap -while being primitive-. At present machine manufacturing is still primitive, so it produces simple building blocks such as straight beams, right angles, flat surfaces. Once machine manufacturing matures, objects can be tailor-made, shaped and curved to withstand a specific set of demands, not just standard ones. Decoration is likely to return.
As for the clothing, I did not think too much about it: I combined a warm environment with a culture appreciating form. I wonder what the women wear...

Petr said...

Beautiful result!