I'm not sure where I originally started with this idea, I can explain the meaning of it all another time but the main compositional focus was always to be this giant worm/centipede thing thrashing about. I remember once cycling past a large snake having some kind of fit and the way this mass of ropey muscle just manically writhed really stuck in my mind. So I wanted to capture some of that.
I was well into penciling up the first sketch when on a trip to Melbourne I saw a sculpture of St. George and the Dragon outside the State Library. It felt like the element the picture had been missing so I started working that idea into my composition. Sometimes I have the wonderful feeling of a drawing arriving in my mind fully formed as if it's been ticking away in my subconscious for weeks and then it's delivered to me all at once. This was one of those times.
One of my favourite paintings is The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus by Rubens (geez, only just looked the title up as found out what's going on in that picture). He's a master of interesting classical composition, the pictures look deceptively straight forward till you start breaking down all the lines of focus and manipulations of your eye. In retrospect my approach is much simpler and the lance is a bit of a cheat. Come to think of it there is a giant cartoon hand pointing to the focus of my image which is, as far as compositional devices go, pretty blunt.
Just a bit of the inking process here, I wanted the main centipede character to to be really, really creepy. I looked at lots of giant centipedes and prawn heads to try and get some of the spikey alien feel to it. Lots of fun.
Here are a few colour studies and some work in progress. I rarely use colour reference but I'm giving it a go here. My main challenge right now seems to be keeping the composition clear and getting all those legs right at the same time.
And below is where I'm up to so far. I reckon theres a couple days work left in it. I'll be showing the complete image at my gallery opening on the 24th of June. Come on by!