So I’m posting up a character design per day from Larry McMurtry’s wonderful western novel Lonesome Dove, and I realized that I was starting to fall into the movie trap. Like Harry Potter, the casting on the Lonesome Dove movie (miniseries) is so good and so spot on to the book that it’s tough to envision any other incarnation of the characters, which is one of the reasons that I like trying to design characters that have already been designed, to see if I can stray from the adaptation (especially if it’s a good one) without losing the essence of the characters.
The first, unsuccessful pass at July and Roscoe's designs
Well, with my first pass at July (done some time ago) and Roscoe, I fell into the movie trap. Roscoe’s a bit on the heavy side, July is thin. I didn’t even realize this until I was rereading the passage where Roscoe hooks up with the zestful farmer, and she points out how he’s be a good match because he’s skinny, and that’ll make it easier to drag his corpse to a grave once she works him to death (that farmer, Louisa Brooks, is one of my two favorite supporting characters). I didn’t draw him skinny. I fell into two easy solutions - one, taking the movie route, and two, making a character fat because he’s a slow-witted bumpkin. I’m especially mad at myself for the latter.
The second finished pass at July and Roscoe. I like this one much better.
Anyway, I made Roscoe skinny, which meant that July needed to change in order to better contrast his “partner” Roscoe. So I made him a little beefier. I think this works for the character - his age, early twenties, merits it, and it’ll make him seem more useful on Clara’s ranch later in the book.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks while I’m working, and Lonesome Dove has been one of my very favorites (I read it on paper when I was in high school or college, but I prefer the audio reading). Anyway, for the next week or two I’m going to post one Lonesome Dove character per day. Now, here's something troublesome - I've already been posting these on my other social media platforms, notably twitter. I tend to remember to post things on twitter and forget to do so on my blog. So if you don't follow me on there, and you're keen to see new stuff as soon as I make it, may I recommend followin' me via that link above.
Anyway, to catch up, I'll post a few year. Now, the Gus and Call characters were drawn some time ago, and I've already put 'em up on the internet, but given that they're part of a set of sort I thought it best to repost them. Anyway, hope you enjoy!
"There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwelt a huge, formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes…"
From H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu. Having spent the first half of my childhood playing in creeks and swamps and bayous growing up in Louisiana, I’ve always been especially drawn to horror stories set amongst the pines and cyprus, mostly ‘cause I was always just a little bit worried that I’d run into a monster when I stayed out there after dark.
I know this guy ain’t exactly formless, but hey, artistic license.
Did a watercolor of Peter Crogan (protagonist of Crogan's March) at age 15 with his dad Joseph, in South Africa. I've got biographies of sorts for all the Crogan characters (which grow as I learn more about specific periods) and I intend these fellas to fight in the 2nd Boer War.