Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Here is my Beginning, Middle, and End. My story was an old folktale about a snake prince.

In the "Beginning," an old widow goes to a fig tree to gather figs, and ends up making a deal with the snake that lives in it to give him her daughter's hand in marriage.

In the "Middle," the snake is revealed as the Snake Prince when the daughter dreams of a man crawling into her bed at night. The widow spies on her daughter in her sleep, sees the snake shed his skin, take human form, and climb into bed with her daughter. She then burns his skin, keeping him as the snake prince.

At the "End," the widow's OTHER daughter is swallowed by the snake husband she found (who, obviously, is not a prince) and the snake prince saves her by gutting the other snake. However, when snake blood touches him, he begins to transform back into a snake.

Emma Maatman


  1. You took on a very challenging story to illustrate in only 3 panels.
    There is no way I would have known what was going on without reading the back story, its very interesting, but i dont think your triptych could exist without the text there to look back at.

    I think there is way to much stuff to put into three frames and you skipped over a lot of the story in the drawings. I would try to simplify but you might have to lose a few key points.

    for instance the last panel could be a triptych all by itself,
    1. daughter is swallowed alive by snake husband.
    2. snake prince sees her being swallowed and springs into action gutting the other snake.
    3. you could end it like you ended the original. girl is saved and snake blood makes the prince transform back into a snake.

    You've done a very good job with your visuals though, you definitely created a gloomy dark mood, and your characters are on point.

    this will be a interesting one to see in color.

  2. This sounds like a difficult story to illustrate with just three. I definitely needed the text to understand. The first two make sense together I think, but then the last is difficult to piece together with it. Maybe less is more? The story might just be too big?

    I like the character designs, the old woman especially and you have really considered the lighting and value, especially in the last frame.

  3. I agree with Mohamed about there being a bit too much information to put into the three frames. I would look into simplifying the story. Maybe just take one part and turn it into a triptych.

    I love the snake-man on the last piece, I think his form is well thought out. However, I'm not sure what's going on in the third piece. The gestures and interactions between the characters confuse me.

    The rendering is very good, too. I think you did a good job with this, but I'd try and think of how to simplify the story.

  4. very interesting story. the images are drawn very well and im curious to see how the colors will affect the pieces.

  5. This is really interesting, especially the dark eeriness you encompassed in all the pieces. The only thing is that you have a very complicated back story with a lot of plot points.
    The first piece made sense because the image of a woman making a deal with a snake in a tree is so iconic but the others were a bit confusing. In the other two, it looked like the woman killed the snake and cooked it for the two people in bed and maybe the snake came back to haunt them. You could try putting something in the second piece to indicate that the man is the snake from the first panel and also put something in the middle panel to show that its the brother snake who ate the girl and not the first one.
    This would look really good in color.

  6. ok this is gonna sound weird, but i find that last image a little disturbing. without reading the story and just looking at it, i thought that a snake man was trying to rape that poor girl. I think its the fact that he's crouched and looks like he's climbing onto her. I think you should have him at a lower height than the girl, so it gives off the impression he is shrinkign before the girl's eyes and his hand is falling out of hers. the first panel is great though, and i really get the feeling that the woman is requesting something from the snake.

  7. In agreement with Jon, there is a whole lot of sex going on here. I would rework that panel into a bit less, "rape" stance. Also about the "too much for three panels" convo.

    Clearly your drawings are on point. Good light and dark, interested compositions, well rendered figures, just a rework of the narrative and I think you'd be solid.

  8. Without reading the story, I find the triptych very interesting to look it. It becomes a very subjective piece in which the viewer can come up with their own interpretation of the story.

    There's a consistency with your style and line that I can see in your work. There's a good establishment of values here so I think just be consistent with your palette.

    As someone else commented, I would try to change the position or the proximity of the snake to the girl. It's an interesting picture regardless, but if that's not what you want to convey, then I would change it a bit.

  9. the guys face could use a little more work and yeah the last one looks way too sexual not only because of the position of the "snake prince" on top of the girl but also the other snake is placed in a reallllly suggestive position. Otherwise you did an awesome job telling the story and the flow throughout all three is wonderful.

  10. i like it, its very different and i think the story lends a good illustrative narrative. think in the first two panels you should include even if its small in the distance somewere the second snake so were not confused in the end, without reading the story i thought the end was sexual.

  11. I think as illustrative pieces these are definitely effective. There's a nice sense of contrast, consistency, and variation in the works. However, I agree they don't exactly tell the narrative you want to tell, if I hadn't of read the story I would have assumed what a lot of people have been assuming. rape.

    I also don't think the window is really 'spying on the transforming snake man and her daughter in the middle panel. It kind of looks like she is just there and it's sort of awkward.

  12. that middle panel is looking really nice.

    definitely thought she was having sex with the snakeman in the last panel. maybe he doesn't have to get all up on top of her to cut her out of the snake?

    snakes are very phallic, huh.

  13. I first viewed your triptych without reading the above text. I had no idea what was happening and was sure that the snake-man in the third panel was about to rape this girl with a giant rattle snake shaped penis? yeahhhh haha sorry.

    After reading the text i was able to evaluate that my main problems in reading the piece was that i could not understand that she was holding shed skin in the second panel, it just looked like a floppy snake, and that i could not read the cut opening and blood in the snake in the third panel.

    I think the color however will really clear up these problems in the final piece. Just make sure that the skin is evident as dead skin, and not just a light colored floppy snake, and also maybe push the graphic quality in the snakes cut belly.