Another doodle this week, this time in Hungary for the writer, János Arany. Working with a Googler from Hungary, I was given this translation of a passage from Arany’s famous work, Toldi:
"Hey peasant, where’s the road to Buda?" Laczfi
asks, disdainful and cold. The word cut to Toldi’s
heart, which jumped so hard you could hear it.
"Hm, me a peasant!" he fumes. "Well, who but me
is lord of this village and land? Maybe György
Toldi, my foxy brother, setting dishes at the
court for King Louis?”
"Me a peasant, me?" With that he brought down a
terrible curse on György Toldi’s head. And then
he lightly twirls the pole, grabbing one end like
a little stick. With a single hand he raises it up
long and straight, pointing out the road that trails
toward Buda. Arm hardening into iron, and himself,
he extends the rough-hewn timber straight as a rod.
The sketches show a tiny bit of the exploration process, from concepts (in this case, weighing a narrative illustration versus a simple spot). The final sketch at the bottom was done in “liquid pencil” and graphite, and served as an underpainting which I then scanned in and colorized digitally. You can spot a few differences between here and the final as well, such as the cast shadows from the sunset, and the addition of legs on Toldi (it seemed okay to fade them out in the sketch, but seemed like a cop-out the further along I got into coloring the final). All in all, a pretty fun piece to work on, with a little room to experiment.