Ahab

For what seems like years now I've been grappling with the idea of illustrating Ahab from Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Illustrating such an iconic character can be a daunting task to undertake. The existing pool of known Ahab imagery is rich in both art and film. I always start the illustration with a bit of research (half the fun) selecting the perfect description of Ahab from the book to use as reference to revisit. I think I'm on my way at this point...

"He looked like a man cut away from the stake, when the fire has overrunningly wasted all the limbs without consuming them, or taking away one particle from their compacted aged robustness... Threading its way out from among his grey hairs, and continuing right down one side of his tawny scorched face and neck, till it disappeared in his clothing, you saw a slender rod-like mark, lividly whitish. It resembled that perpendicular seam sometimes made in the straight, lofty trunk of a great tree, when the upper lightning tearingly darts down it, and without wrenching a single twig, peels and grooves out the bark from top to bottom ere running off into the soil, leaving the tree still greenly alive, but branded."

—Moby-Dick, Ch. 28

Pencils 

Pencils 


Early inking shot 

Early inking shot 


Ahab, 11"x 14" Brush and ink

Ahab, 11"x 14" Brush and ink