Before I even think about sketching out ideas for my landscapes, I need to take a piece of text describing each place and annotate it.
Below is my analysis of Diagon Alley, as described in Chapter 5 of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. A key for the highlights can be found at the bottom of the page. The colours alternate between blue and pink to break up the block of text, making each point easier to read.
So, what are the main points of interest I got from the text?
- Everything that blatantly described a piece of the scenery was highlighted and underlined in green – all or most of this description should be included in the final piece:
- The wall to get into Diagon Alley is enchanted – why not other buildings?
- The street is cobblestone – it twists and turns “out of sight”
- The sun is shining
- Should be a packed high street – maybe the art should be without people to let the focus be on the shops?
- Should be at least 9 shops (including Gringotts) according to the information given – more can be added though. There should be:
- A couldron shop
- An apothecary
- Eeylop’s Owl Emporium
- A broomstick shop (with Nimbus 2000 in the window)
- A shop selling robes
- A shop selling telescopes and “strange silver instruments Harry had never seen before”
- Shops stacked with windows of bat spleens and eel eyes
- A shop with tottering piles of spell books, quills, rolls of parchment, potion bottles, globes of the moon
- Gringotts outshines the other buildings in grandeur, size, and pretty much every other aspect
- The other buildings should be smaller than Gringotts, but perhaps still relatively tall. 2/3 stories each, and possible old/bend/wisened with age
- The alley is grand, amazing, stunning, enchanting, whimsical
- It is also very homey, whithered and worn down, but not in a bad way (except for Gringotts, which is pristine and white and not at all worn down)
- The shops have things outside of them too, which could make the street that much more narrow – perhaps outdoor goods/stands/seating areas?
- The alley seems as though it would be full of odds and ends, interesting little details would be good to include
What are my initial thoughts on how to compose this piece?
- The text follows Harry and Hagrid on their walk through Diagon Alley – I would like to show the path they walked from the archway to Gringotts, from the perspective of when they first stepped through the arch
- As I intend to make it a wide-scale piece, I don’t intend to include the archway itself – just they alley. The arch would take up too much room where other integral details could be! Perhaps it can be suggested on the very edges of the peice
- I would like to use a variety of interesting mediums in this piece because there are so many layers to it!
- Maybe it could be created on Photoshop, and layered over with different textures I can create. Almost a Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends vibe?
- Alternatively it could be a good piece to practise a mixture of collaging and painting, and then refining and adding more detail on Photoshop
- A good place to start would be to study and practise 1/2/3 point perspective, and chose the most applicable to start mapping out where everything will sit in the scene