I’ve always loved the high drama and stark shadowing of graphic novels. One in particular that bedded in my mind was the classic ‘Sandman’ series by Neil Gaiman and eventually I got round to ordering the first four volumes in the collection.
The hero is Dream, from a family of eternal principles including Destiny, Desire, Death, Delirium and so forth. Their family name is the Endless.
For no reason that I can recall, a small panel on one of the pages jumped out at me, so I took it as a starting point to experiment with the genre as a small oil sketch, with the result above.
It clearly hit a nerve in the collective unconscious as it was sold the first week on display, parts of the paint still wet, and I liked the subject enough to commit it to a full size stretched canvas.
It came together amazingly fast, with only the facial features needing more modelling over the next week or two to get the mood I wanted.
The little coloured bubbles in the sketch filled out into strange creatures from dreamspace. Along the way a fossil became an odd bird, a fish sprouted biplane wings, and some vertical marks suggested a cityscape in the clouds.
Currently this is my favorite of the large pieces currently still available, and I plan to play in this dream-like fantasy space some more.