Please help me compose a seedy Star Wars gambling den
Justine Cottle, Australia
I start by developing an idea of what I want to draw, by collecting references and documentation. I study the attitude of people to the casino, as well as the atmosphere, the environment and the types of games being played. I’ll have to put all these elements into the Star Wars setting, where futuristic elements blend with those of the past and faerie tales. I keep in mind that famous phrase: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” I think this is the key to capturing that authentic Star Wars ambience.
My gambling den has an atmosphere that’s reminiscent of a saloon from the Wild West: it’s smoky and dark, a meeting place where people of all races, shapes and sizes come and go, and gamble and drink. To create an interesting-looking composition, I choose to represent the moment when one of the players realises he’s been cheated at cards and draws his gun to threaten the robot that he’s playing against. In this way I can show the aggressiveness of the regular customers that frequent these gambling dens, and introduce an element of storytelling and tension to the scene.
The scene is chock full of characters and is a bit confused, and that’s exactly what I was hoping to create! When painting a complex, character-led scene, I’ll plan it out beforehand. This gives me a better idea of what the final result will look like.