Today, I’d like to share some sketches with you from an upcoming commission for H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds. I have always loved this story, both the book and the radio drama, ever since high-school. It has remained a fascinating story ever since, one full of inspiring scenes, concepts and moments. Yet for all its hold that it had on my imagination, I never really had a chance to paint anything for it. So I am very excited to finally take a shot at it!
Before beginning any major illustration project like this, I love doing dozens of moments from the story as little sketches. There are so many scenes, so many interesting opportunities! It is hard to pick just one. So here at the beginning, I think, why not do a lot of them as little rough sketches? Take a little time and really explore the story, and hopefully, find which one speaks to you the most.
The plan for this is to choose one of the sketches here, and take it to a tight finished watercolor, something that will hopefully have the golden age vibe that the story itself has. I plan to do all of the painting live on Twitch. If you’d like to tune in for the event, we will be kicking things off 5PM EST this Wednesday. We will do some reading from some of the chapters, share our pre-vis work, and dive in!
While The War of the Worlds is a story from over a hundred years ago, it still feels highly relevant today. The frenzied panic, the confusion, no one having any idea what to do, or how to combat this new menace; all seemed eerily familiar when the COVID pandemic started. No one seemed to really know what it was or how to safeguard against it, authorities we trusted seemed powerless against it, and indeed our leaders and the armies themselves themselves fell victim to it. It was alien, unknown, remorseless and terrible, and our reactions to it revealed much about us. There is an observation of humanity here by Wells, that is often too real for comfort, a grim reminder of our frailty, but also of our endurance. Perhaps that is why it remains a timeless classic.
I hope you will join us this Wednesday for some classic fantasy mayhem on stream! https://twitch.tv/justingerardillustration