Saturday, July 18, 2015

Emilia's starring debut [Te Busque]


I started putting this in a Facebook status and quickly realized I'd need more room to give the full explanation I want to give for this sketch :P 

As of this point in my brainstorming process (which has involved some actual writing- so far, I've got 50 pages of the actual novel done), I don't know enough about this character to give her the "bio" treatment YET. But I can dispense with some details as I explain my drawing.

A while ago, I scanned a couple of my sketches in my PC and colored them in using MS Paint. So I thought I'd give this another shot. Plus, it's good practice for when I finally figure out the highlights in Amber's hair going this same route.

History of the Drawing:

The date on the drawing is when I finished the sketch. For whatever reason, I like marking down when I do certain drawings :shrug: color me OCD if you want. Once I scanned it into my computer, I worked on the colors over the past week.

Characterization Details:

Emilia De Le Rosa, 19, is the youngest member of the dance troupe at the center of my novel. She's a very technical talented dancer, particularly in jazz with experience in contemporary, pop and hip-hop. As of the start of my novel, she'd been a member for only a year.

The Scene in Question:

Emilia is in costume for a special routine. She'd been a back-up dancer and has been in supporting roles in routines featuring Talia, Vanessa and Scarlet for the year she'd been part of the dance troupe.
This is the first time where she has a starring role and it's the opening routine of Amber's theme night.

I picture the routine being Fosse-esque with jazz nuances in the choreography. Emilia is dressed as a magician's assistant. Her magic wand comes into play only a couple times where it appears to "command" the lighting (this part, I'm still brainstorming).
She plays flirtatious with her hat and also uses a table and chair as props.
I derived inspiration from Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Chicago" for her "All that Jazz" number and Liza Minnelli's look [notably, the hat] in "Cabaret."
As for the skirt... it's the 3rd/4th draft of what something I saw in a dream--a grey Burberry skirt on a rack. It wound up being that shade of blue because Emilia's color palette features a lot of blues and whites. White is a particularly significant color to her because it symbolizes purity. She's the only virgin among the girls and also the only one not to have experienced any degree of abuse... not to spoil too much, but she does undergo a traumatic experience that leads to a major turning point in the third act of the novel.

I'm not usually one to draw lips or lipstick, but I kinda wanted to give Emilia some big Taylor Swift lips for this particular routine. But when I drew them and colored them in the first time, they looked very clownish than I would have liked... which helped me make the decision to do the MS Paint treatment. It came out so much better.

The hairstyle pays homage to Emily Browning in "Suckerpunch," Emilia's source of inspiration. Where she got her namesake, skin tone, eye and hair color from. I also wrote a line that harkens back to her character's name, where Emilia says to Talia "I’m not the porcelain babydoll you think I am."

I haven't figured out much about Emilia's life before she joined Talia's ranks, but then, I only have Amber, Scarlet and Ruby fleshed out completely at this point.... thanks to the fact that I have notebooks set aside for them, but also because I feel a camaraderie with Amber personally and I hit a sadistic streak when penning Scarlet & Ruby's back story.
Talia is my protagonist, yet I don't feel I have her completely figured out yet. Vanessa, I only have a few ideas sketched out, most of which I'd changed my mind about with time.

What I do know about Emilia, though... she seems like just a secondary character at first. She's still the new girl kinda along for the ride, seeing how Talia, Scarlet and Vanessa roll in the club and outside of it. I had thoughts about making her the narrator, but ultimately decided against it. She observes a lot, but doesn't do anything significant for a while. But when Talia's inner conflict comes to light, her actions help dictate where the story goes and where her loyalties lie have significant impact on the characters. Particularly in a later conflict between Talia and Amber... which would have figured out differently had Emilia not learned what she had during the course of the story.

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