Saturday, May 3, 2008

Composition: Mood, Movement & Meaning

These are the last 3 composition assignments and the description paragraphs the drawings are based on. For previous assignments, I was always unconsciously drawing everything covered in the paragraphs, making a more complicated yet unfocused composition. As a new challenge to myself, I tried to pick only a few elements to focus on, in order to make a more focused and compelling composition.

The private office was everything a private office should be. It was long and dim and quiet and air-conditioned and its windows were shut and its gray venetian blinds half-closed to keep out the July glare. Gray drapes matched the gray carpeting. There was a large black and silver safe in the corner and a low row of low filing cases that exactly matched it. On the wall there was a huge tinted photograph of an elderly party with a chiselled beak and whiskers and a wing collar. The Adam's apple that edged through his wing collar looked harder than most people's chins. The plate underneath the photograph read: Mr. Matthew Gillerlain 1860-1934.
Derace Kingsley marched briskly behind about eight hundred dollars' worth of executive desk and planted his backside in a tall leather chair. He reached himself a panatela out of a copper and mahogany box and trimmed it and lit it with a fat copper desk lighter. He took his time about it. It didn't matter about my time. When he had finished this, he leaned back and blew a little smoke and said:
"I'm a business man. I don't fool around. You're a licensed detective your card says. Show me something to prove it."

"Don't you know a police siren when you hear one? Get out of that car!"
I got out of the car and stood beside it in the moonlight. The fat man had a gun in his hand.
"Gimme our license!" he barked in a voice as hard as the blade of a shovel.
I took it out and held it out. The other cop in the car slid out from under the wheel and came around beside me and took what I was holding out. He put a flash on it and read.
"Name of Marlowe," he said. "Hell, the guy's a shamus. Just think of that, Cooney."

The first blister popped, bled.
The soil lay rock-like beneath the heavy frost, and his shovel worked scarcely better than a child's toy. Still he kept digging, pausing only when his hands grew too cold to grip the handle, or when a fit of coughing took him, doubling him over to spit thickly on the ground.
His foot brushed against the gunnysack lying next to him, producing a muffled thud. Take a breath, man - don't kill yourself in the doing.
He sat down on the small pile of fresh-dug dirt, pulling the sack closer to him. Gentle, now, his trembling hands doing their best to forget the cold, forget the strain of digging.

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