After the Goldrush

OK, so I've decided to illustrate the Neil Young song "After the Goldrush" for my project.

It's a project I've wanted to do for a while and I think it will work well with the theme of experimentation that this course is focused upon.

Besides the amazing vocals, melody and arrangement, what I love about this song are the bizarre lyrics that jump from one hallucinogenic experience to the next, via a cold floor in the bottom of a basement. There's an incredible sense of freedom and confidence in these lyrics - Neil is singing whatever he likes with little regard to narrative structure (see "Words" on Harvest for another great example).

I will focus the illustration upon the 2nd verse (the "burnt-out basement") and cherry-pick the ideas and images that resonate with me. The "colours flying all around the chosen one" line is one that keeps popping up and I think I can use this as means of tying in all the disparate elements.

I also have mountain goats in my head. I don't why but they may also feature....

Here are my initial sketches which are, unfortunately, completely unreadable. A combination of light pencil work (2H) and poor scanning skills (really looking forward to seeing Sara's tips for scanning!):

I'm thinking a dark scene with a figure lying at the bottom (probably Neil Young), a surrealist burned out basement (creating a "psychological landscape" similar to Max Ernst's frottage works), the full moon at top right and the hallucinogenic images (possibly as fragments like stained glass or mosaic pieces) creating a vector between all these elements.

I have also created a pinterest board to collect ideas and inspiriation.

EDIT: I've produced another sketch so the composition is now visible:

I'm considering not illustrating some of the song lyrics and instead using found textures (in the negative spaces) to suggest hallucinogenic visions.

Actually, the best option may be to illustrate the image without filling in the negative spaces, scan, and then continue drawing (filling in the negative space with images: children crying, archer split the tree, band in my head etc). This would then leave me with 2 versions that I can experiment on to see which strategy is most effective.

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