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October 1st, 2007 #1
"My Last Duchess" Character Ideations
These characters are based on a poem, "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning, set in Italy during the 15th century Italian Renaissance. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Here is the poem:
That's my last duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will't please you sit and look at her? I said
"Fra Pandolf" by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
That depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain drawn for you, but I) 
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 't was not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say "Her mantle laps
Over my lady's wrist too much" or "Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat:" such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough 
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart - how shall I say? - too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed: she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 't was all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace -all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech, 
Or blush,at least. She thanked men - good! but thanked
Somehow - I know not how - as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech - (which I have not) - to make your will
Quite clear to such a one, and say, "Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss
Or there exceed the mark"- and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set 
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse
- E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence 
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
At starting is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me.
Last edited by xXiNtEgRaCrXx; October 2nd, 2007 at 09:06 PM. Reason: forgot to enclose poemConcept / Environment Artist
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I dig the style. I would say the first and third guys could use some work on the face. The first guy also has very flat legs... he has very nicely defined upper body resting on cardboard cutouts. Hope this helps
October 2nd, 2007 #3
i agree about the faces, ill be sure to work on those. As for the legs of the first character, I was worried that if i started applying detail to the legs that the focal point would shift but i can see how they're looking like cardboard cutouts. Appreciate the crit, thanks.
Concept / Environment Artist
My Site - sLaM pRoDuCtiOns
October 2nd, 2007 #4
You've not going to taunt us by showing the drawings but not the poem, are you? Share please!
Give the first male character some calves! Also, if he’s going to tilt his head forward so much, his shoulders need to be about level with his nose. The lady is about to topple to the right, her left hand is oddly palmless, and I find myself wishing I could see into the darkness of her right side. The seated fellow reads reasonably well, even under that big pile of clothing, but he would be helped by crisper details in the drapery he wears.
Your drawings are good, but it seems like if the characters had been developed just a bit more carefully in drawing before going to color, that they would have been stronger.
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