"Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can
look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better
artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to
be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can
look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is...and force the
viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he
can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see
that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but
simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet,
endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older
than eighteen in her heart...no matter what the merciless hours have
done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me;
we were never meant to be admired-but it does to them."
Though I'm nowhere near as accomplished as Rodin, I thought it was an incredibly interesting psychological vignette and I wanted to portray it as best I could.
The brilliant and often underappreciated writer Gene Wolfe coined the world 'Fuligin'.
'Furthermore, the hue fuligin, which is darker than black, admirably erases all folds, bunchings, and gatherings so far as the eye is concerned, showing only a featureless dark.' - The Shadow of The Torturer, 1980.
The good people of Alzabo Soup in their commentary about the book talked about how the book covers failed to convey the concept of the darkest black - a shade so dark that it reflects no light. Here are two front covers of the book. One of them is more abstract than the other. In the more realistic illustration below, one can make out the dimensions and folds of the cloak. In doing this, the illustrator probably chose to represent the phemonemon of darkest black in more relatable terms and let the text guide the imagination of the reader.
In my rather crude paintover, I eliminated all the folds and presented the cloak as experienced by viewers. However, pursuing this option …