12 mayo, 2010

El amigo de la muerte I

(so not the tale of the same title by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón)


I have had this sketch around for a while now, so I decided to play a bit with it in Photoshop. In spite of all evidence I’m not really fond of digital art (I can’t help but to think that you can’t put on the same league media that includes an “undo” function with media that not) but I cannot deny it is useful, so it is good to experiment on it from time to time.
It’s also a practice for semi-realistic baby expressions, which are hard to draw.
This drawing goes together with another one traditionally done that needs to be finished.

This drawing is on a tale from the East of Spain called El amigo de la muerte (literally: “The Death’s friend”).


… and she caressed him with her long dry fingers that cracked whenever she moved them. But the child never cried as he was used to it, and he smiled and laughed, and the Death was dazzled.


The tale says that there was a man of perfect justice, and it happened that the man was to be a father. He was very worried on how to make his child as honest and fair as he was. Asking around he found a very old and wise man who told him that children grew after their godparents, so the man decided to leave his house in order to find the fairest godparent possible for his child.

After some time travelling he reached a forest. The Devil, who had heard of his search, came to the

man asking to be the child’s godfather as he was just and fair. The man refused and went on.

Then the man met Saint Peter, who also asked to be the child’s godfather as he was just and fair, but the man refused saying that someone who leaves people out of Heaven’s Gate because of matters of no importance could not be fair, and he left.

Later he met another man and, after talking to him for a while, he told him that he was looking for a righteous godfather for his child. The man, who was Jesus Christ, offered himself for the job. The man complained that even He was not fair enough to be his child’s godfather as the world was full of evil, so he walked away.

He was about to give up on his search when he came across someone whose shape was ghost-like; it was half wrapped in a sheet and its face almost lacked of flesh, it was carrying a scythe. It was Death, and asked the man about himself. And when the man told her* about his search she offered herself for the place, reasoning that she was the most suitable choice as she was equal to everyone. The man did not agree with the statement but, in the end, she was the finest candidate so far, so he accepted.

The child was born a boy and the baptism was celebrated.
It was a great party and Death proved herself a diligent godmother, taking care of every expense. Death has never had a godson before, and she was very pleased because, for the first time ever, people did not avoid or despised her but, instead, showed her kindness and respect, as she was the Godmother. When the celebration finished the Death had to go on with her work; before leaving she promised to take care of all her duties as godmother and to visit his godchild often. And so she did.

From time to time she went to check on how much the child has grown, and she caressed him with her long dry fingers that cracked whenever she moved them. But the child never cried as he was used to it, and he smiled and laughed, and the Death was dazzled.

As she visited often, the father and she grew to be friends...



This is the detail shot that it is more
likely to be used as the final illustration


There are plenty of things I love about this tale (and I’m offering you a shortened version after all), but let’s leave that for the next part because the tale goes on.

To be continued…


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* “Death” is a feminine word in Spanish so, when used as a character, Death is referred to as someone feminine; yet, that does not necessarily mean it is considered female.

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