Lights, Cameras, ART!–The Dead Man’s Hand


Here we go, starting to come together! Diligent artist SB has drawn up the concept sketch of the Dead Man’s Hand. Here.s what it looks like:

Dead Man's Hand Layout Sketch

Dead Man’s Hand Concept Sketch

Here.s a list of things that came into my head. Here.s a cut and paste of the email I sent back to SB:

Hi SB,

Good stuff! I like the back wall with staff door and the black swans all nice and discreet. Let me throw some ideas out there, see what you guys think:
-does the gunman enter on the left of the picture (bar side), centre, or right (dog side)?
-how could we create the illusion of more space? For example, could back wall move back 5’ or table where card players are sitting move to the right (opening up the middle)?
-which of the characters sees the gunman coming in?
-I like that the bartender is cleaning a glass, nice sense of motion. I.m wondering if there.s other ways to capture a sense of motion in the picture? For example, could the waitress be coming through the door or could one of the players be in the act of getting up or sitting down?
-would it be an effective way to draw attention to the dead man.s hand if there was a pendant light hanging over the table, something like this:
These are some of the things that jumped into my head looking at the drawing. Not sure how your guys schedules are next week, can we meet briefly to nail down the concept? Perhaps Monday or Tuesday.

Like I said in an earlier post, I.m sure appreciating a lot more all the time, energy, effort, and thought that goes into cover illustrations. Going through this has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me so far, glad to be working with a great team. Also met up with MR last night. He.s the other half of the dynamic duo behind the Dead Man’s Hand. I.ll be bringing my laptop to the photo shoot and we confirmed yesterday that his sweet Nikon camera is compatible with my MacBook Pro. I didn.t know all the technology that.s available these days (maybe it.s been out there for years!). You can tether the camera to the laptop and use the laptop screen as viewfinder. You can also control the camera.s functions right off the keyboard!-would you believe that? This will be a good feature as it will allow us all to crowd in front of the 15″ laptop screen instead of the little camera screen to see how the photos are turning out.

Wow, look at that, while been blogging away, SB has already replied!


Great ideas!
Let me go one by one on what I think 😀
1. I think he could enter from the center, and we could cast a light/shadow of the door and the gunman entering on the floor.. so it would show like someone was coming in but without making it very clear. I was thinking of making the whole drawing from the point of view from the gunman because then the characters would be looking at who’s looking at the painting… (I’m not sure if that made sense)…
2. For more space we can just move the walls around. The last time we spoke, the idea was the make it a tiny space but that’s an easy fix! I’ll do it in the 3D room and send you some ideas. We can change the sofas and all for another table if you want, but it’d be hard to place the players more to the center/back of the room because they need to be the first thing in the drawing so the cards are bigger and you can see what hand he has.
3. For more motion, I’m thinking of making the waitress coming out from the kitchen, so she’d still be opening the door (I drew it wrong, sorry!). Also, I wanted to put a glass falling from her tray like if she got scared or something. One of the players could be sitting down, although I wouldn’t see them doing this in a poker game. What we could do is to have one of them playing with the chips, like if he was waiting for someone else’s turn.
4. I’m not sure if it’ll be necessary to have a lamp, but it could be done. I’d have to move the waitress otherwise the lamp would end up covering her face – I’ll see what I can do!
I’ll get a drawing tablet tomorrow and do some coloured previews in Photoshop, so we can have a way better idea for colours and light/shadows.
As for meeting, I’m good any day, whenever you guys can 🙂 Just let me know!
– SB

I can see it must be a really interesting process for the artist as well when doing a commission. I wonder if there.s any blogs out there written by artists who talk about their experiences working with patrons?–that.d be an interesting read.

Onwards and upwards! Until next time, I.m Edwin Wong, and I.ll be Doing Melpomene’s Work even if it involves holding the dead man’s hand!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.