Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Butler Did It!

I suppose somewhere in the mists of time there once was a really popular murder mystery in which the butler actually DID commit the crime. Then, as happens in all forms of media, everyone jumped on the bandwagon and started copying the idea until it became the cliche it is today. Now no self-respecting author would get within ten feet of such a plot.

This drawing started out as a simple sketchbook doodle of a snooty butler. Then while I was drawing him, the title phrase popped into my head. I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how to draw him with a gun or some sort of weapon behind his back (but still be visible). I wasn't having much luck, and then I got one of those "Aha!" moments and added the sinister shadow.

At first I was going to use all the weapons in the "Clue" board game (gun, noose, lead pipe, knife, candlestick and monkey wrench), but there just wasn't room. If I tried to add two more items to the shadow I'd have had to make the whole thing taller and then the butler would have ended up too small. Plus the shadow of a lead pipe isn't very interesting, so I changed it to a crowbar.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original sketch. Much less elaborate than the final drawing. His guilt is a bit more obvious here as well! The figure didn't change a lot from the sketch, other than his outfit (I googled "butler" to see what kind of suits they really wear). I'm glad I ditched the text for the shadow.

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