All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cover art for "Burn The Ships"


More sketches.

The evolution of an idea.
I have had the same basic idea this whole time, as it develops, but there was something lacking. Then a friend of mine made a comment that unlocked the idea that has been skirting around the corners of my mind. Then I was looking through an old sketchbook and found a sketch of a ship in a harbor, and the silhouette of a figure in the foreground. That got the idea really going. So here is a new concept sketch:

Study paintings for the cover of my band's latest CD, Burn The Ships. This is just the setting. In the foreground will be a ship on fire (of course.)

Working out ideas with light, color, and composition. In the final piece, the ship will be more in the foreground and will dominate the composition - so the relative scale will have to change.

I tried both daytime and nighttime scenes. I like each one of them for different reasons.
The nighttime scene is more ominous and moody. definitely would be the choice if we were including the pirate song Pursuit - but that song was put on the back burner for now. :(

The daytime scene is beautiful - definitely the type of place I'd like to burn my ships, and reminiscent of how the New World must have looked to the explorers: lush, untamed paradise. But perhaps it's too pretty for a CD by a rock band.



Ken said...

The *intent* of burning the ships wasn't all that bright, correct? If that's correct, wouldn't the darker one be more fitting?

With the darker one you'd also be better able to highlight the burning ship, right?

Just thinking out loud.

Mikey said...

I think you're right, Ken, and the night scene is more 'dramatic' -which is more suitable to the intended use (CD cover.)

The title 'Burn the Ships' is in reference to Cortez burning his ships, as a resolute act of complete commitment. There was no turning back after that.

I will probably do a full-on painting of the daytime scene anyway, so I'm not worried about whether or not it gets used... it will eventually. It's just too lush and gorgeous.

Ken said...

Yes, for Cortez it was an act of complete commitment and he may well have been happy about it.

What about the common sailor? How happy were they when their way home went up in flames?

Note that I don't have the historical context, so it may well have been a democratic vote and everyone was happy.

Somehow I doubt it.