Monday, 15 August 2011

New work from John Blanche #7

I have something very exciting to show you all following my last post on GW's Confrontation. Below is an image which John Blanche produced for the Confrontation project back in about 1990 but which, I am pretty sure, was never published. This is therefore the first time it's been seen outside the Studio.

The inspiration for this Imperial dignitary is the "mad, bad and dangerous to know" Lord Byron. The Romantic excesses and lavish lifestyle of the rebel poet are an admirable basis on which to portray a denizen of the baroque and brooding future-universe. Here the noble stands, indignant in his louche outfit in the aftermath of a scuffle with some less fortunate creature. His doublet is unbuttoned to reveal his naked chest replete with Latinate tattoo, and he is accompanied by a dwarf whose costume is both a mimic and mockery of the duelist.

They stand before a triumphal arch so huge that parts are wreathed in mist. However, this form is itself lost in an even vaster hall - a Hive world hab dome so big it might support its own micro-climate.

This piece is in Blanche's detailed-pencil style. His schedule of the time was such that producing full-colour work was less feasible so he opted for similarly grand images rendered only in monochrome. The detail for which he is known is still very much present, with the hairs on the body individually drawn and each stud on the ornate cuffs shaded.

"The busy have no time for tears."