Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Gina" - Older vs. Younger

Here is my male protagonist's mother, the feisty Mrs. Gina! When I originally drafted her - before this sketch- I envisioned an elderly Italian woman in black with white lace. The more I wrote the story, the more I realized the character was anything but ordinary or typical! Gina is proud of the fact her husband was a Roma/Gypsy, as well as a wolf, and tries to instill that pride in their children.

I also realized that because Gina married her husband at such a young age, she is only middle-age and has grandchildren, so she is quite young for a grandmother!

What I will do is redraw her in the black shirt with lace in a different manner - she will dress this way sometimes when attending Mass or a holy day - and remove the puffed sleeves. She's also a little stouter than what I originally intended for her body type.

In the second sketch is Gina and my gangster when he is several months old! This is the youngest I've drawn him.
The draft is inspired from many Ellis Island photographs I've viewed over the years, as well as what photos I studied from the now extinct gathering place for many immigrants in the late 18th to 19th century.
Before Ellis on the East Coast, it was Castle Garden.
Castle Garden went by the wayside, I believe I read, in the mid-18th century, to make way for Ellis Island to become the gateway to the U.S.
The West Coast had its own whose name now escapes me, but when I remember, I will mention in a future post.

I also altered Gina's hair, making it more lush and thicker. She's a young woman, a mother of 15 years, and many women in the 1870s-1900s wore their hair long, usually piling it on top, or pulling it back in a bun or ponytail or other headdress-type coif. I realized this and added more hair to her younger picture, using a dark wash pencil to represent thickness.

Older, and during the 1920s-1930s, many women wore their hair short, often pixieish, so, I will change the older Gina's hair in a final draft.