Tile Ten

Tile ten was a fun, complicated, and time consuming tile. I have a very vague idea of how much time a tile is allowed to take (somewhere between two and four hours), and this one vastly exceeded its allocation. So much so, in fact, that when I was debating whether to draw windows on the buildings, I decided that tiles ten and eleven had already taken away from other pieces. I think it looks just fine without them. There are windows in the “projectile house,” and, aside from their needing to be rotated twelve degrees anti-clockwise, I think they are more than adequate.

Tiles ten and eleven are very closely related. They are, firstly, a reference to our Pax Romana O-Rama “simulation” where our students used graded assignments to build and improve a Roman city. Next, these tiles reference our study of Greek mythology. Tile ten features Polyphemus, the famous cyclops from Homer’s Odyssey. Larger than life, he stands knee deep in a walled city, battling the focus of tile eleven. You can see him deflecting a thrown building and preparing to fight back with a sharpened mast. This is meant to be the fire-hardened stake/mast/spar that Odysseus and his crew used to blind the one-eyed monster. In fact, you can just about see the unlucky crew holding on for dear life.

The monster required a lot of planning and sketching. Here is a pencil drawing from early May:

I rejected this sketch, and many others like it, because it didn’t communicate that this character has only a single eye. If you have ever attempted to draw a cyclops, you are doubtlessly aware of how fundamental binocular vision is to Earth life. We are so accustomed to seeing two eyes that we are uncomfortable with faces designed for only one. Even with the eye clearly over his broad nose, my brain kept assuming that his other ear must be an eyebrow! It was very frustrating. Many artists place the eye above two empty sockets- a pseudo third eye- but I don’t care for that appearance at all. I sketched for longer than I care to admit before coming up with the current design. I like how the eye is so wide that there isn’t space to allow for a second eye. I think the over-sized teeth, too large for him to close his mouth, is somehow key to making the design work.


I think I'm supposed to put some copyright information here at the bottom:
Copyright Daniel Miller, 2011