Making the most of the snow

Posted: January 18, 2013 in Countryside, cover design, Kikimora, Research, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve been greatly looking forward to the promised snow this week. Not for obvious reasons such as sledging or getting sent home from work. Not even for the hope of being snowed in with nothing to do but keep writing. The reason I’m so excited about the snow is that I want to take photos that I can use as the basis for Kikimora’s cover.

As discussed in a previous post, I have a pretty good idea of what I want on the cover, and snowy woods feature strongly.

It is therefore extremely inconvenient that I’ve come down with massive lurgy, and am unlikely to be going anywhere or doing anything this weekend. We don’t get that many good snowfalls in England, and if I miss this one there might not be another all year.

Fortunately, I did manage to get out for half an hour in my lunch break during the first snow earlier this week. I only had my phone with me, so the camera wasn’t brilliant. And, since it was still snowing at the time, the sky was grey and the light murky.The resulting photos aren’t that scintillating. However, I had always intended to monkey around with them, adding colours and textures and painterly effects so perhaps it wouldn’t matter too much?

Having already completed today’s 1000 words,* I decided to have a play around with a few pictures and see what I could do with them. These are only quick forays, trying out a few techniques, but I’m liking some of the effects I’m getting.

The snowy woods will be the background for a bright figure (possibly woodcut), so they don’t need to have much of a focal point themselves.

frozen lake

A frozen lake, much like the one where the Rusalka live

snowy branches

snowy branches

path through snowy woods

path through snowy woods

It’s also good to be able to witness a few snowfalls, since there are so many in my book. A bit of immediate, first-hand experience will tighten up my descriptions no end. All in all I’m making good use of the snow.

* And I’ve had great fun with the writing today. I’ve been reading The Golden Bough on and off for about 20 years, picking up fascinating little snippets and ideas, squirrelling them away – and every now and again finding the perfect place for them in some piece of writing.

Today I made use of an old custom of punishing gods that aren’t pulling their weight – by beating, berating and generally disgracing their statues.

Effectively, the people give their gods an ultimatum: If you want to be worshipped then you’d better start heeding our prayers. Otherwise you’ll be face down in the river, and you can stay there and think about what you’ve done!

I think this is a brilliant attitude towards religion. I wish more people had it.

You can read more about The Golden Bough here, as I decided it deserved a whole post of its own.

  1. Love the first pic.
    Re. religion and junking deities: agree, however I guess if you’re monotheist there’s just too much invested 😀

    • elwoodcock says:

      Sorry, I swapped the pictures round at some point (cuz I thought the lilac one clashed a bit with the frozen lake). I think by ‘first one’ you probably meant the snowy branches? That’s the one I like best 🙂

  2. Loving the lake picture! Think it would make a great cover for your book 🙂 x

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