...is how I felt when I saw how long it's been since I posted anything on here. I've been busy but not that busy, if I'm honest. Bad Faz (with much finger-waggling at self). During this quiet period on the blog I was asked to do another piece for Scholastic, one of their classroom publications - the same one I did the Sybil Ludington illustrations for that I posted oh so long ago. This time it was a civil war scene, part of the battle of Bull Run where Union soldiers mistakenly thought a battalion of foot soldiers approaching them from their right were Union when in fact they were Confederate. At the time they were engaged in cannon battle with Confederate soldiers over the hill in front of them. Various conditions including no wind, low cannon smoke and dirty uniforms all led to the confusion. This is the initial pencil rough I drew.
The deadline was kind of tight on this one - it's really a bit of a shame when deadlines don't allow enough time for research and to familiarise yourself with the period as much as one would like but that's the world of commercial art and illustration for you. I did the best I could under the circumstances but I'm not entirely sure if I was all that successful in depicting the scene. Battle scenes can be tricky to draw for many, many reasons - mainly because there's usually just an awful lot going on and laying something like that out can be difficult and this one was also made hard because of the three groups that needed depicting. Here's the revised and more finished pencils.
I should probably mention that as it's a magazine for schoolchildren in the US there couldn't be any blood or anything too gruesome so it's all a bit tame really. Kind of silly when the same children are probably exposed to far more violent imagery on a daily basis on the telly and elsewhere. Can't help thinking that it's a good and responsible thing for children to be made aware of the true price and horror of warfare, maybe even more so in an educational magazine. Anyway, enough blather, here's the final piece.