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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Final Scene in Shakespeare's Hamlet

A recent painting I made of one of the most tragically enthralling episodes of literature ever made.
Here's the Run-down:
Claudius (who killed his brother the king so that he could obtain the throne and marry his brother's wife) hatches an evil scheme with Laertes to kill prince Hamlet (who's father was killed in cold blood and his sister driven to suicide by said prince). Laertes challenges Hamlet to a fencing match and plans to kill him by cutting him with a poisoned blade, and Claudius poisons a cup of wine that he plans to give to Hamlet to insure his demise. The duel commences and Laertes isn't able to land a single blow, while queen Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, is accidently murdered by Claudius by unknowingly drinking the poisoned wine (seriously, does Claudius have ANY common sense!? I mean, he left the friggin' cup out the open that any person could pick up and drink! What an AR-TARD!). When Gertrude succumbs to the poison and falls out of her chair, Laertes uses this brief moment of distraction to cut Hamlet with the poison blade. Hamlet then lashes out and knocks both blades to the ground, picking up Laertes's blade and cutting him with it. Laertes then tells Hamlet in his dying moments that Claudius had killed his mother and that Hamlet killed him and he killed Hamlet (kill kill kill kill kill). Hamlet then stabs Claudius with the poison blade and forces the poisoned wine down his throat in a fit of rage, then dies, concluding the play.
It's a man-slaughter of epic, Jerry Springer proportions.
-Nick Fechter


Guybell said...

Nice work ,Nick (plus, extra points for putting Shakespeare and Jerry Springer in the same paragraph).
I have 1 critique:
If you folded your painting in half down the middle and then looked at each half you would see almost the identical same image. It is very symmetrical which means that the eye is not directed to a focal point. This also creates a symmetrical negative space around your figures which you also should try to avoid. The rules of composition in art are simple to utilize and they will greatly improve your work.
That said, your coloring skills are great.

Guybell said...

Oh, forgot to add that the stained glass reflections on the side walls was a great touch.

Nick Fechter said...

Thanks for your kind words Guy, and once again you've totally nailed my issues that I have with enviroment anatomy. Rest assured, I'm going to go for a totally different focal point in my next work and completely avoid symmetry altogether.

And regarding Jerry Springer, you can't even read Hamlet without sensing deeply rooted family issues that would explode in a talk show studio.

pokepetter said...

I'd say yes, the composition can be better, mainly due to lack of the extra depth. However a symmetrical composition isn't necessarily bad. It can be good to use symmetry sometimes. Especially for design. In this example your composition is too busy and too cramped together to be effective.

The biggest problem with this picture, I think is that you use all sorts of values all over the image. The way it's drawn or constructed ruins the illusion of space. You use values that at places where they don't belong. Therefore the value range is inconsistent. When setting up the lighting, think of a primary light source, maybe a secondary light source and ambient lighting. In your picture the scene is half front lit and half back lit. That won't work. How can the top of the chairs be so bright if the light's coming from the back. If you imagine a sunset, all the land around is pretty dark. Try to never lit something individually and please, stay away from softbrush, it's like painting with the chain brush. It work if the brush is incredibly small, but when it's big, you can only paint chains. Well actually it's better to use the chain brush as it actually can make both hard edge and soft edge.

Anyways, keep improving.

Nick Fechter said...

Wow, you just blew my mind Pokepetter. THANK YOU for the advice, it really gives me something to roll around in my head.

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