Recently I’ve been admiring the work of French artist Gustave Dore (1832-1883). He worked mostly in woodcuts, which means he was limited to just a pair of colors, yet he was able to convey such scope, such a distant horizon in almost all of his prominent works.
It’s an art I want to try to master as a writer. We only have words in our arsenal, but I want to convey a similar degree of mystery, of unanswered questions, of what lands those distant, monochrome clouds overshadow.
Yet, as with the Dore pieces, this sense of the unknown cannot steal attention from the story in the foreground. Here, for example, the focus is on Arthur and Camelot, with the dramatic cloudscape only serving to deepen their characters.
I’m working on a short story right now that takes place in the universe of my novel. It should make an excellent laboratory for these experiments.