For the next few weeks I will be blogging about the individual pieces that made up my senior exhibition. In no particular order, I would like to start with this re-imagining of Audrey II, the monster from the musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ For my senior project I choose to make a large chunk of art about theatre. This piece is new concept art for a classic musical theatre character. Audrey II has been interpreted on the stage in many different ways, but in my opinion, the large costumes always felt a little too stiff for the character; bulky is a word that comes to mind. I wanted to reinterpret Audrey II with a more fluid, animated look. Longer, leaner vines and a totally new silhouette makes the plant feel more graceful in its movements even if the mechanics of operating a costume like this will always be a little awkward. Audrey II is a predator, and a very smart one, and so I think he should like a smooth and cunning carnivore.
I also wanted to take more visuals from actual carnivorous plants in my design. I have seen Audrey II on the stage with huge, white, shiny teeth, which clearly belong to an animal, not a plant. I don’t care if he is from outer-space, I think that this intelligent plant should look like it took a similar evolutionary track as our earth plants, and the big shark teeth just aren’t working for me. So I did a little research, and adapted the ridges, grooves, markings, colors, spines, and vines from carnivorous plants alive on earth today.
The painting itself was executed with watercolor on cold press paper. For reference, I built a model of my initial sketches with clay, then lit and photographed my sculpture. Overall I had a fantastic time painting this piece. Painting monsters is liberating because they can look anyway we want them to; there is no right or wrong with a monster. I never paint very scary things but I think I may want to continue incorporating supernatural creatures into my work.
You can view this and other brand new illustrations in my color illustration portfolio.