Picture Perfect

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I first read this novel (Wilde's lone novellular work) in early high school and then again within a couple years of graduating college. I remember my friend Tim mentioning how it was one of his favorite books, which led me to recall how excellent it really was. Please discount any reference to Dorian Gray in the movie version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Blyuck.

Anyways, I'd consider this a "Gothic Horror" work, being that the setting is nice "turn o' the 20th century" London. You know, when people still had names like "Lord Henry" and stuff. Sherlock Holmesy in nature. Goings see many plays and wearing frills and flippery and all that fancypants stuff. I'm doing a great job of describing it, I know. Wait, I have it: The Late Victorian Era. Voila!

Alright, so Dorian "I'm young AND handsome!" Gray has a portrait painted by an artist, and it turns out quite nice. The artist falls in love with Dorian's beauty. Mr. Gray, meanwhile, becomes enamored with the world view of another character: Lord Henry. Henry ol' chap believes that one should only pursue beauty and pleasure in the world. And Dorian readily jumps on that ship.

This is really a classic and you should read it. And I shouldn't spoil it. So I won't. The book does deal with a few topics, the most important being "Inner vs. Outer Beauty." If one pursues worldly pleasures and looks, he may have to sacrifice his soul in the process.

This is a pretty dark book, as you can see! If you've read the novel, the sketch will make sense to you. And if you haven't then it should make you want to read it, right? Or make you have nightmares. This illustration was done with watercolor and Micron Pen.

On a final note, I will say that I wish it were titled "A Portrait of Dorian Gray," because "portrait" has a stronger connotation than "picture." Especially in this case.


Caitlin said...

Beautiful! That shade of red is one of my favorites.

Tim said...

Right on! A great piece for a great read. I love the technique you used.

lucky said...

Hey Burt!

I think you captured the era beautifully... both in illustration and words. Flippery and fancypants!
I love it!
And the red is wonderful!

Great job!