It’s been a few months since my last ramble on here. I have a good reason, but I want to write about that in another post a bit later (if I remember). I have this big picture up above to write about right now. It’s a turtle — a really, really big one. Okay; that’s it. Enjoy.
Oh. Still here? Well, I started on this last year in December. I haven’t worked on it all the time since then, just when I had time and felt like it. The inspiration for this was from conversations I’ve had with Kate where she explained myths from her people which depicts the known world of eons ago (North and Central America) as a giant turtle. I started getting images in my head of this world of islands on the backs of giant sea turtles. Seasons would come about due to the migratory patterns of these turtles. The island I ended up depicting was to be windswept due to constant migration by its host. For most of the painting process I had no idea whether I wanted to make the island seem more inhabited or leave it mostly devoid of development. I came to the conclusion it just simply looked better when the viewer had to look carefully for signs of civilization rather than the island’s being one massive city or something of the sort.
The turtle is mostly just a giant hawksbill turtle but with a different, “older” looking face. I chose a hawksbill because they’re really interesting looking and because they’re endangered. When I intially conceived of this idea in my mind the turtle was to be covered in barnacles and stuff hanging off it in a way to depict visually a methuselistic age, but when drawing it the sheer scale of the thing made showing stuff hanging off it to be a tall order as they would be microscopic in size. When I first started painting in detail on the creature, the texture I painted in to represent barnacles and such ended up just making the turtle look filthy. That would in turn make it appear monstrous. It’s not a monster but an animal, likely magical because nothing that size could exist. Seriously, look at the shape immediately under its right shoulder; that’s a blue whale, the largest creature ever known to have existed — bigger than any dinosaur we’ve ever dug up. I, in the end, added a few barnacle-looking things on its body thinking if there’s mountainous turtles there’d be giant barnacles, too. I still dispensed with the texture, though. On the bottom there is a miles/kilometers/whatever long school of sardines. This was the most difficult thing I’ve drawn in living memory. It took forever to figure out how to get the scale right on them and to draw the ones closest to the camera; they’re the most detailed.
I struggled with the title since I first started on it. I never could figure anything out that fit, and truth be told I’m not entirely sure about the title still. I’m going to run with it anyway. I felt like it should be something simple, even one word. What I have chosen works even if I’m incapable of thinking of a better title. For the imaginary people who live on the turtle island it would be their home.