Monday 11 August 2014

Editing part 2

I haven’t done nearly as much on my picture and poem as I’d hoped because I’ve been a lot busier than I anticipated (which has been lovely – spending time with my younger brother and our friends and gaming and geekery).

Starting with the poem… I’ve done almost nothing. I’ve removed the stanzas that were most awkward and have changed a couple of words to ‘smooth’ the flow, sort of thing. I’m tempted to change the gender of one of my friends so there would be a ‘he’, a ‘she’ and an ‘I’.

I also noticed that the stanzas are probably in the wrong order – I thought it went 1 – 2 – 3 – 3 – 2 – 1 but it isn’t: it’s 1 – 2 – 3 – 3 – 1 – 2. The problem is that having 3 – 3 works less well now I’ve taken out the bridging stanza I didn’t like.

At school we once had a class on how to edit a poem. The teacher gave us a poem he’d written – a copy of the initial poem as he’d written it and a copy of it once he’d finished editing it. A good idea, because he could talk us through the changes he’d made and why (there may have been a third that was part way through the process; I can’t remember). The problem was that the end poem didn’t seem any ‘better’ to me than the first draft – just different.

One thing he did, however, was remove a few lines that were where the poem had grown from because they didn’t fit his final vision. I didn’t understand why he did that – those lines, to me, seemed to be the best part of the poem – but I think I understand it now. Part of what I have removed are the ballad-style lines “Dressed in red and black, my friends, dressed in red and black…”, which were the heart of the poem and something, when I wrote it, I really didn’t want to lose but returning to it now I really don’t think they fit.

Onto the picture: I’m happier with the eyes, ears, mouth, crown and eyebrows but, actually, less happy with the nose. I decided I want to draw her in her armour but haven’t found fantasy armour I’m confident to draw her in (it seems particularly difficult to find necklines, with a lot of images having these obscured by arms pulling bows etc). Instead, I think I’ll put her into a dress so she can be in a queening moment – hopefully, it’ll be easier to find something suitably inspiring.

I spoke to my Dad, who’s good at drawing. He was thrilled I’m giving it another go and was able to give me advice on proportion with some of my other sketches of full bodies. He’s done less portraiture-style paintings and drawings, but it was nice to see his enthusiasm in helping me and it made me feel positive about improving.

Because I'm doing this using pencil and paper, I'm having to scan it or take a photo, and then use photoshop to try and make it more visible, with varying degrees of success. This is why the second is paler than the first.

Initial Sketch
With a bit of fiddling

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