From the Sketchbook:
This CBC series features illustrators sharing their creative process and providing context for their amazing artwork.
Our featured artist is Gareth Hinds, the creator of critically-acclaimed graphic novels based on literary classics, including: Beowulf, Macbeth, and The Odyssey. Below, Gareth takes us through his new graphic novel adaptation of The Illiad.
“I do a lot of research in the initial design phase of each book. The Bronze Age was so long ago that we have very little in the way of surviving artifacts from that time, but we have a lot of pottery from the Classical period that is decorated with paintings of characters and scenes from Homer’s epics. In some cases I used these paintings as inspiration for my designs.”
“This is my initial drawing of the key Achaean and Trojan warriors. One of the biggest challenges in this book was to help the reader keep track of who all the many important characters are, so my first job was to make sure each captain looked distinct from the others, with a unique shield and helmet design to help you tell them apart on the battlefield.”
“You might notice that above Achilles’ head is a drawing on a grey background, which is copied from The Odyssey. I referred to The Odyssey for all the characters who had previously appeared there.”
“I sometimes use real people as models for my characters. I did that more in The Odyssey than The Iliad, but some of those characters are in both books, notably Menelaus and Helen. These are my drawings of Menelaus and Helen, done in Photoshop and based directly on photos of my friends Wes and Margaret, who graciously agreed to model for these pivotal roles.”
More of Gareth Hinds’ stunning art can be found in The Illiad,
a companion volume to his award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey.