I have been reading Homers Odyssey over the summer,which begins with the sacking of Troy,If you are unfamiliar with the tale of the Trojan horse look here=>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_Horse. This was where my initial inspiration ignited.
The tale tells that,after besieging Troy for 10 years,the Greeks boarded their boats and seemingly set sail for home,leaving behind them,at the gates of Troy,a giant wooden horse. The Trojans dragged this apparent tribute within the walls of the citadel. Unfortunately for them,when night fell the Greek warriors hiding within,leapt out and took revenge on the inhabitants of Troy,murder,rape infanticide,desecration of holy sites,in-fact every war crime you might think of was perpetrated by the "Heroes of Greece" that night.
On to the pictures..I started with the idea that any wood the Greeks could get would have to be salvaged from their own ships,and the wooden horse usually portrayed in art as a sculptural piece,would,I speculated, be made roughly from planks and nails.
Initial Horse thumbnails
My Initial designs for the horse look more dog or bull-like than "horsey".But I liked the many planks and nails appearance of the first sketches,so on I went...
My lovely horse(thanks Father Ted)
My next effort was more "designed" and horse-like.The reason the horse is kneeling and bowed is to give it an appearance of passivity or defeat. All the better to fool them cocksure Trojans. I felt I had a piece strong enough to work with. Following an extensive clean up in Corel Painter to remove the sketchbook crease-line and sharpen/redraw blurred elements of the scan,it was time to vectorise in Adobe Illustrator.
The Trojan Horse
I used the "high detail illustration" preset from the live trace menu,then spent the next few days tweaking anchor points,once this was done I selected various Earthtone colours to fill in the myriad planks.
In hindsight I should really have placed it within its own environment,to give it scale and an obvious context.
All Images copyright Ed Allen 2012