Monday, December 30, 2013

More 1974 Character Portraits

The Greek calligraphy behind the figures identifies the red-clad fellow on the left as "Heliodorus," and the lady as "Charis." They were characters in my Byzantine adventure story. Heliodorus was a eunuch who had been an official in the imperial court and then a builder and manager of shipping lines. Kind of like the Aristotle Onassis of the later Roman world. Even though he was missing a pair of critical parts (I did a lot of research on this Byzantine custom) he had a lover, Charis, who was a married noblewoman involved with something nefarious…spying or smuggling, I don't remember. This pair either protected or schemed against the earnest and confused heroine. Don't ask me to re-read my manuscript, it is just too embarrassing. 

My costume designs and the whole style of these portraits is based not on original late Roman art but on 19th century engraved historical costume picture books, which I collected in facsimile. I was still using the thin-pointed Graphos pen. I wonder whether I can re-create this old style with modern tools such as my Pitt sepia technical pen. 

Pelikan Graphos pen with sepia ink, colored in watercolor, about 5 inches vertical, 1974.

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