top of page
Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Choosing Content

Before reading the formal brief for this exercise, I read the segment and already had a vision of the character. Well, at least of the clothing, and perhaps the mannerism. I could imagine the room and got a taste of what the atmosphere could have been like. I pictured something of the film noir style, smokey and dramatic. But this scene felt still, as if it was either late at night or very early in the morning. Though light had been described from the window, So I went with early morning. The detective had worked tirelessly on a case all night, and in a moment the light breaks through the window, the detective is pulled out of a work trance. It's as if the stale air had parted and he was able to notice his surroundings which, after so many years in the service, had faded into oblivious.

It was easier to find visual reference from propaganda footage found on the archives of the British Council or films such as Scotland Yard Investigator, directed by George Blair in 1945. It did in fact feel like a real insight to this time, even if being acted, it covered exactly what I needed. So I sat and watched, and pulled imagery that matched.

A War Comes To London

After creating a little moodboard with the photos from the films and screen shots I collected, I put together a larger image of the character and the scene. I considered the Film Noir vibe for the lighting through the window, casting a harsh shadow across the desk and through the middle of the room. I feel I could have taken the shading further and exaggerated the shadows, but I was pretty happy with the result of both character and room.

After I made my final portrait of the main character, I noticed a little similarities in an actor I could see playing the part. I could suddenly see Colin Farrell sitting in the room, hair slicked back and slouching on his chair after a long days work whilst distantly gazing out of the window.

The word that came to mind when imagining this scene from the text, was stale. I imagined that after a long day, lots of smoking would have happened in the office, dust would have settled and the air would be simply stale. The atmosphere would be that of tired energy, lost thoughts, unsolved mysteries and possibly disturbed from cases they might have been working on. Was he going home, or was it going to be a long night for him in the office as well?


bottom of page