Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fahrenheit 451: Take 2

"It was a pleasure to burn."

I love this book. Sam Weber, one of many 'holy shit no one can paint that good' illustrators working today, has already done a series of beautiful, stirring works based on Fahrenheit 451. Still, I want to have samples of book cover work, and I cannot ignore this book's potential as an illustration. In any case, this is what I've come up with for a composition.

If the book is about a fire in the soul of Guy Montag, Clarisse is the match that sets him off. She holds a dandelion up to him in one particular scene. Clarisse tells Montag that if he rubs a dandelion under his chin and it leaves yellow behind, he is in love. But when she rubs it under Montag's chin, there is nothing.

I wanted to cover emotional and thematic points with this illustration. Let me show you the illustration finished as I see it. Close your eyes. Wait, no. Read this. Then close your eyes and imagine it. Listen to Massive Attack: Mezzanine. Just Teardrop would do. I digress.

The world is grey. Cloudy sky, broken, twisted tree. The ghost of a city looms in the background. Pages of books, blackened and burning falling like volcanic ash from the sky. Clarisse in a white dress is a splash of color, and it threatens to invade the darkened figure of Montag on the left. Smoke rolls off of him. He is all leather and darkness and he puts one hand out to push away from the influence of the inquisitive girl. He is the Fireman. But soon he will be something more.

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