I’m presently collaborating with illustration graduate, Johann Rohl, on a commission to make an ‘avatar’ for a friend’s website. The brief has been fairly elaborate, and requires a creation that will regularly change her appearance. To this end the avatar is to be realised as a ‘maquette’ of the type that I regularly make and use as compositional aids. Indeed there will be several maquettes in changes of costume to facilitate the range of roles this avatar will be required to assume, and it’s likely that the process will be ongoing, with further maquettes added when needed. Here is just a small handful of the many sketches, together with a just-started maquette. You’ll notice that like the Sleeping Princess of fairy-tale, she has yet to awaken.

16th Century ruff and stomacher.

The Regency brings high-waisted gowns and elaborately plumed and be-ribboned hats.

Veiled headress of the Middle Ages.

Above and below: a pantomime Columbine of the 19th Century, her ringlets crowned with roses.

The early stages of a trial maquette.

Although these initial sketches are all by me, Johann and I will collaborate on the final renderings.

12 thoughts on “Avatar

  1. Only Sarah with Clive and Johann imaginative seeing could out-do Dr. Who! Or any traditional old shape-changer, for Sarah, under the puppeting skill of her magicians will be able to transform at a moment’s notice, at a psyche’s immediate need. Oh this is soooooooooooo exciting.

  2. I LOVE that reminder of the Wurzel Gummidge heads! I can remember a teacher at school saying ‘get your thinking heads on’ and wondering whether I had anything other than a thinking head! (sometimes I wish I had!) This is such a fabulous idea…..well done,Sarah….for issuing the challenge and I’m really looking forward to the end result…:-)

    • Shellie – It was Clive who came up with the solution of maquettes to the brief I gave him of creating the Curious One character and it’s such an ingenious idea. The experience for me is akin to being Pinocchio in Geppetto’s workshop, but the twist to the tale is that I am delighted that my alter ego is going to be – and stay – a puppet!!

      I think the approach to the brief is the perfect Hicks-Jenksian (I always like how grand that sounds!) combination of tradition and transgression, with Johann bringing his own unique talent to the mix!

      Is this the “thinking head” your teacher was referring to I wonder? Sarahxx

      • Absolutely! If only one could get satisfactory questions in life! My teacher’s name was Mrs Williams and she too had Worzel’s teacher’s ‘magnificent bosom’ with which to emphasise her points (as it were….)…a sort of ‘shelf of authority’ from which she proclaimed. She once said to me ‘desist with the pencils’……

        I do agree that the phrase ‘Hicks-Jenksian’ is a rather fabulous statement – I plan to use it in conversation at the next opportunity 😉

        Can’t wait to see the upshot of this!

  3. Dear Clive
    The mysterious ‘friend’, you refer to, would be me!!

    I have been told, more than once, that I need an off-switch installing in my over-active brain, so you and Johann are brave men to accept my brief. (-:

    Who better to bring the Curious One and her world to life than the Welsh magician and his apprentice? It’s going to be really interesting to see how your two styles meld and what the final results of this alchemy will be.

    As a child, I adored Worzel Gummidge and envied his ability to change heads, so it’s incredibly exciting that my alter ego is soon going to have access to her own range of heads and a dressing-up box!!

    Thanks to you and Johann for accepting this challenge.


    • Ah, yes. Well I wrote ‘friend’ because I didn’t know how much you wanted to reveal at this stage.

      The notion of physically changing heads to facilitate varying moods and modes, is one to which I’d subscribe, were the option available. Right now I have to manage with just the one head, but your ‘Avatar’ is being furnished with a selection! She can wear one while the others are sleeping. Capital idea.

      • I am not surprised in the least at Sarah’s “coming out ”
        Wonderful !
        It is going to be great to be able to guess her every mood just from looking at which Avatar she opts for on each and every occasion.

  4. What a beauty , In every period and in every guise !!! I am not surprised at your closing her eyes in the maquette form. To be looked at by those beautiful but serious and critical eyes while trying to move the lady back and forth, would be an act of daring, and she could see it as a kind of disrespect…

  5. What stunning and beautiful drawings. I love the strong marks along with the delicate touches, all of these characters are entrancing, how do you choose? Somebody is going to have the best-looking Avatar out there!

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