The evolution of Simpleton Archives - The Singing Bone

Happy Simpleton

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I wanted to show Simpleton as some someone who is oblivious to the ugliness that surrounds him. Although I do appreciate having him commit to his feelings (there is never any question as to what he may be feeling at a given moment), I feel that I may have I “oversold” it on this occasion. This will mark the third time that I redo his appearance for this drawing.

I admire that that part of him, the thick shell upon which things seem to deflect, which appears to stem from naivety, at first glance.

A new Simpleton?

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I briefly considered changing Simpleton’s appearance, but eventually decided against it. I had drawn him so many times, for so long, that I felt a nostalgic attachment to him. I also remembered why I chose to depict him that way and the concept still appealed to me. Visually, his simple appearance fits with who he is supposed to be and I felt he contrasts well with the series of characters I was placing around him.

Simpleton and Tintin

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My love for Tintin extends to my very early youth. My respect and love for Herge continues to this day. When deciding on a colour scheme for Simpleton, I settled on the colours used for Tintin in some of his earlier adventures. I always liked the way he was depicted in stories like “Les cigares du pharaon”. Instead of using a young heroic look for the character that I wanted to create, I opted for an older, chubbier figure and not typically heroic. Tintin was recognized for his hair and I made sure to make my hero bald. I didn’t want his white socks to be showing, I felt the reference would have become too obvious and distracting. Still one could say that Simpleton developed, in part, out of a reaction to Herge’s drawings of Tintin.

The early evolution of the drawings

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I was never good at colouring. It took me a while to admit that to myself, but it was an important realization as from there I could try and improve. Upon receiving some feedback from wife, I eventually changed the backgrounds to a very dark colour, mostly black, which activated the lines and movement of the work, making the scenes more legible and quicker to digest. I needed to embrace the cartoon aspect of these drawings, and I was finally on my way.