Monday, October 4, 2010

Homo Ferus | Desperation

As always-for a better quality image- view the piece of my website:
http://johnnydombrowski.com/illustration/homo-ferus--desperation/

I'm back from the dead! Here's a piece I just finished tonight. It'll hopefully be the first of a series following feral children. Children who grow up in the wild or in complete isolation from any form of social contact with other humans. Homo Ferus was a term coined by Carl Von Linné (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) which places the feral child in a stage between animal and man. Not quite either. What makes us man? Is Nurture really that much more important than Nature? It seems like it, yeah. There have been cases of children being locked in a single room for years at a time to the more legendary examples of kids actually being raised by wolves. These children would tend to walk on all fours and even bark and act like dogs.
During the sketch stage, I wanted the first image to put the child alone fighting against the elements, and in this case, hunger. With no options or knowledge for another way out, he resorts to desperate grabbing of fish in a nearby river. I stayed pretty faithful to the sketch with the hair being the one exception. As the idea developed, I wanted the boy's face covered up in this, and most likely, in every illustration from the series. Since we relate to someone the easiest through their eyes or face, I wanted to take that safety net away from the viewer and portray him as, in a way, just another beast in the wild. That's when Ian Laser Higginbotham, a friend and fellow artist, mentioned the idea of having his hair soaking wet and dripping over his face. Perfect! After the ink drawing was done, I colored it digitally in photoshop as usual.I'll keep in touch- more where this came from. Let me know what you think! Talk to you later.
-Johnny

4 comments:

Rebekka R. Dunlap said...

At first glance I think it's really lovely, the colors especially. A second look makes me wonder why someone so hungry looks so relaxed and emotionless, especially in the face.

Johnny said...

Hmm, you bring up a good point Rebekka. Maybe I should have made him more stiff or something along those lines. Something to keep in mind for the rest of the series! I guess a part of it was I didn't want him to get too expressive, Instead, show him not really thinking and just doing.

Giancarlo Corbacho said...

Beautiful piece! I respectfully disagree with what Rebekka says though. Animal behavior is usually characterized by an emotionless quality...also it makes it seem like something so raw is normal to him; while to us, it isn't at all.

Marcos Chin said...

so good johnny - keep'em coming!