Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Burliuk and the Giant

Zdepski's Illustration of Burliuk and the Giant
I have always loved the name "Burliuk", which was the last name of two Ukrainian artists, brothers from the Odessa / Black Sea region in the early 20th C. Brother David and Vladmir were big, burly guys, perhaps less well known than their contemporary Russian painters like Malevich, Goncharova and El Lissitzky. But they were crucial in the development of the style called the "Primativist Movement", drawing on folk tales and folk art.

David did a piece in 1907 called "My Cossack Ancestor", which struck a chord with me. My roots aren't from the eastern Ukraine, where the Cossacks lived, but I love the stories of Nikolai Gogol and the larger than life visions of their heroic deeds.

...so.... that story brings me to this story...

Zdepski's Illustration of Burliuk and the Giant - close-up

My Twitter pal, Sandra Dieckmann (@sandradieckmann) has a project called "Haus Stories" that consists of individual artists placing a single story on her "Haus", and we watch it grow, story by story. I got the specifications, which are easy to understand, but the format is long and low, like a room interior.

I started by wondering how large of a person could i cram into that tiny space. The drawing turned into a Giant, warming himself over a candle. That looked ok, but not that dynamic. I was going to toss a mouse, or cat in for contrast... boring.

Then I looked at the rustic walls I had drawn, and chose to draw a laughing Cossack..."Burliuk, the Brave". I formulated a story that he captured a giant on one of his adventures and chose to bring him home. Being a Ukrainian, he had to offer his house guest something to eat. The giant is given a Hay Fork to eat with and a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. The giant is awed by Burliuk's generosity.

SO... that's the story. Burliuk could develop into something down the road. Wait and see!

HEY! How the heck did he ever get into that tiny room? Immovable...

The Cossack Burliuk's Mother, Evdokia beating a Turk.

UPDATE: Here's Burliuk's Mom and Horse beating up an insulting Turkman. More about Mom Here...

Click to enlarge the image - Cintiq in SketchbookPro and Photoshop.

8 comments:

Davin said...

ever looked at arthur rackham? something about your subdued earthy tones brings him to mind for me.

Chad Grohman said...

This one is really great. I love the red in the nose and the other subtle places. Great storytelling!

Ana said...

It's amazing,my favourite of your works so far. Great character :)

Linda Hensley said...

Wonderful! I love the story and the picture :)

David said...

Love the subtle colours and tone.

emilywilsondesigns said...

Fantastic work... you were able to create a story with this one picture.

zillustration said...

Thanks to all for looking! I seem to be formulating the story as I go. I wish I had a more verbal approach, but I tend to think in images. I will be building a short story template on Burliuk, soon.

psychopooch said...

Cool illo!