Edgar Allan Poe was once of the central figures of Romanticism, drawing early inspiration from Lord Byron. He is generally considered the inventor of modern detective fiction and contributed to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was known mainly for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. His best known poem “The Raven” made him a household name, although he enjoyed his fame only for another four years before his mysterious death in 1849.
I originally created this piece as a poster for the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va as part of a series of posters for their winter show lineup. The play celebrated many of Poe’s works including The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher. The illustration was one of the first that I created digitally and allowed me to play with techniques that I had always wanted to try. Intricate line work and crosshatching techniques pull greys and midtones out of dark brushy blacks. The dark brushy blacks give the piece an almost frantic painterly feel that was the antithesis of my normally controlled clean line art. It also helped to compliment the dark nature of the character that Poe has become over the years. The piece though digital has a very hand drawn and ink brush effect that in stark contrast to the normally clinical look that digital illustration sometimes can be known for.