Doctor Syn was a huge project that was simultaneous with the last two rotations projects. The brief was make three illustrations based on the novel or the Hammer Film version. It was up to decide if we wanted to do classic illustrations or something more experimental, almost bordering to fine art. The project kicked off with a screening of the film version, some image research. Some of us also went to a field trip to Romney Marsh, were the novel takes place, to find more inspiration. Here are some of my sketches from that trip.
We also had to brainstorm quite early for the illustrations we wanted to do. It was quite difficult because I hadn't read the novel at that point, only some chapters. The book was also quite dull and I had a hard time trying to find an aspect that I could relate to.
After the trip, the sketching continued. I explored one idea based on the phrase "Marsh men" that pop up now and again. I liked the idea of portraits of the characters that was entirely made from the marsh wildlife. One idea was of faces that emerged from the negative space around branches, or silhouettes from swarms of rats. I also experimented more with colors.
The idea that I choose was portraying three characters like 18th century playing cards. Because of time constraints, I left the colors and used one of my favourite mediums, graphite pencils.
Since these characters also was connected to each other, I gave them slits so you could connect them physically. I specifically designed them so shapes and patterns can merge into a nice triangular shape. I also reused some of the patterns on the characters, as a small clue to their connection in the book.