Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Illustrating a Bible story

Before you start to illustrate a passage from the Bible, You need to read the passage first!
Not just once, but many times. Why?. Because there are things that you will need to know that won't be obvious after just one reading.
e.g. What time of day is it? What was the weather like? Does the story take place inside or outside? If it's inside, what type of building is it? If the story is outside, what is the location? How many people are present? How old are they?
Is there a custom mentioned that you will need to research? Is there an item mentioned that you will need reference for?
These are questions that you don't generally ask when you read a Bible story, but you need to, when you're illustrating one!

It's amazing how many Bible illustrators don't ask these basic questions.
(I admit it, I've made a few mistakes in my time!)
I have children's Bibles that show Jesus walking on the water, on a bright sunny day! (It was night!), and the sea in the picture was like a sheet of glass! (There was a storm going on!) Not that it would be any easier walking on water when it was calm!
I have Bibles that show the parting of the Red sea in the daytime! (This event was also at night!)
How old was Daniel when he was in the Lions Den? Most childrens Bibles will show him to be anything between a teenager to around 30 years old. He was actually 80-90 years old!
When illustrating the life of a Bible character, you need to take note that 10 or 20 years can pass in-between chapters! Remember to check the dates in the margin.
These are all basic mistakes that could have been easily avoided by a closer reading of the text.

After making notes of all the relevant points above, it's time to start looking for references! I will deal with gathering references in a later post!

Related posts:
More Biblical costume reference!
Which Bible clothing colors should I use?
Gathering Bible References
Bible Research
Easy mistakes to make!
Bible study aids
Being Roofless!
No more Domes!
What did Herod's Temple look like?
Houses in Bible times


Paul G said...

Maybe these artists have watched too many Hollywood movies Graham. After watching Victor Mature wrestling a rubber lion who needs realism? LOL

Bible artist said...


Horseman said...

I suppose you could call me a Bible artist. I did some sequential art based on the temptation of Jesus Christ. I use only scripture - New and Old Testaments (KJV). Some people sing to worship God - I make art.


I have a blogspot that you can link into from the bottom of part 3. I am kind of new at this internet stuff. People like us need to network more, I think...

Bible artist said...

Hi Greg
Really nice artwork.
I will definitely add you to the 'Bible artist list'
Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Setting up photos of people in authentic looking Bible clothing is definitely the way to go.
I've never scanned pencil artwork before. It looks very effective. Well done again.

You should enter the latest 'Christian Comics Competition', details below:

Keep in touch!