Monday, December 20, 2010

N.C. Wyeth Study

Here's a study/re-envisioning of one of my favourite N.C. Wyeth pieces. The original is posted here, too. This is my brother's Christmas present this year :) When I was thinking of what to get my brother, I was reading a book by Andre Norton, called "Quag Keep." I had only to read the first 20 or so pages before I was struck by the description of one of the characters, Naile fangtooth. He's a wereboar, with a frightening boar crest on his helm and a huge battle axe only he can wield. In human form he has large tusks that jut past his lips. The character reminded me so much of my brother, right down to temperament. I wanted to draw this guy so badly. The image I had was of a Celtic, tribal warrior, especially in regards to the helm and axe. I also thought of this Wyeth piece from "Legends of Charlemagne". For some reason right at that moment the two concepts just merged together. I'd been wanting to do a value study of Wyeth work for a while. And this gave me the perfect opportunity to both feature Naile Fangtooth and copy a master work :)

This piece was very much the struggle you see pictured. It was tough, but extremely fun :) It was awesome spending so much time looking at one piece. I got a chance to spend some quality time with Mr. Wyeth and deconstruct some of what he was doing in terms of Value. He uses the light and ark method Mr. Gurney described in "Imaginative Realism" (the same technique used by Rembrandt-another favourite of mine). That has been something I've been wanting to explore lately. Planning out every piece, making them work in terms of classical ideals of symmetry and balance. I'm fascinated by the Golden Mean and the way the Renaissance Masters labouriously (and thoughtfully) planned out their work.

I also included some of the additional reference I used for this piece.


  1. I love Andre Norton! Nice reference study...

  2. Thanks, Christina! I don't usually read her stuff, but a friend gave me one of her books. It's pretty cool, so far. I'm typically a Tolkien fan, and a fan of those others who write epic fantasy.Ursula K. Leguin and Patricia McKillip are two female authours I enjoy.

  3. great values on this one. nice job