No Boats About It

The Underground Man by Mick Jackson

The ending of The Underground Man left me thoroughly saddened. In addition to that, I am also reading Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, which brilliant but also mega-depressing. So, to combat this overall wamp-wamp mood, I decided to draw one of the lighter moments in The Underground Man.

The Duke is coerced to participate with all the townsfolk that has congregated to play on the manor's frozen lake. To prevent the townsfolk from knowing The Duke's identity, his manservant, Clement, bundled The Duke with so many layers that he could barely move his limbs or head. With ancient skates in hand, he set off to the frozen lake shore.

There he found a very small child sitting in a boat that was stuck halfway in the frozen lake. They were both equally equipped against the cold weather. Mobility sacrificed for the sake of warmth. The child took notice of him and offered him and apple. "Ap-ple?"

"Good boy," the Duke said, and patted the child on his well-insulated noggin.

About the illustration:
Watercolor with ink overlay. I also changed the black ink on the snow to gray ink in Photoshop.

After I decided to draw this scene, I realized that the other Booksketch I did for The Underground Man (The Apple Tree) also focused on apples. While "apple" can't really be a theme, there were several times where apples where mentioned and discussed. The Duke did have an apple orchid on his property, so they were probably on his mind a lot, haha.


Denise Gallagher said...

beautiful beautiful beautiful
i love your watercolors, B!


Maria V. said...

this is really great, burt!

donny* said...

here here! ditto ditto! **agreeing with the other comments**

Blake Lagneaux said...

Beautiful piece, Burt!

And actually I would say the apple (which is sometimes used as a religious/Eden symbol) is relevant here. At the lake, the Duke finds the closest thing to religion that he has known.

Glad you didn't choose the "trepanning" scene... yikes.

Burt said...

I know, right???

elena said...

Great piece :) love the colours and lines