This eerie children's rhyme starts off the very aptly named story “The Forest of a Thousand Legs” by author Rex Lovezinski, the story I chose to illustrate for this week's episode of the NoSleep podcast.
The “thousand legs” part refers — of course — to our animal friends of the small and eight-legged variety, so if you're creeped out by spiders or other crawling creates, I'm sorry.1
What to draw, what to draw…
After NoSleep's executive assistant, the ever-lovely Violet, shared this story with me, I was at a loss, at first.
There were a lot of elements that feature prominently in the tale, but I wasn't sure they would lend themselves to an illustration that has to work as a podcast cover.
My first idea was to draw the forest itself, because Rex' description of the creepy place really sent shivers up my spine. I saw, before my minds eye, tall, ancient trees, almost monumental, casting a shade that was hardly ever pierced by the day's light, all covered by a thick, sticky membrane of old spider webs.
The problem with that? Drawing trees is not really my forte, and I would have to really draw a lot of details to aptly communicate the image I had in my head.
Okay, back to the (literal) drawing board
I hope I'm being vague enough in telling you the story features a certain monster creature, as many NoSleep stories are wont to do.
I always enjoy painting those monsters and thus bringing them to life, as I did — for example — with the wonderful Skinny Rogue episode.
The problem with that, of course, is that revealing the monster in art form before the listener even started the story, is that it takes away from the storie's suspense, so in my recent works for NoSleep, I tried to stay away from that.
So, no monsters, no forest…
Then I had the idea of illustrating different insects and spiders that feature in the story, since it mentioned one of the characters owning a collection of rare insects.
As soon as I grabbed my stylus and started working, I knew I was in for a treat. Painting those little guys, especially the shiny jewel beetle, was time-consuming, but a lot of fun.
I decided to add the graphic effect to really draw the listener into the story and make the illustration more enthralling, graphically speaking.
I hope you like the illustration, and I'll see you soon with the next one!
1 I'm not really. :P