Astounding Layers

I was going to do a post about how my favorite writers always seem to build their characters and plots layer by layer—sometimes over many books—so that even the most opaque person can be defined by his or her silences and the most seemingly-straightforward story turns out to be amazingly involved, and then I’d try to work out if this is easy and instinctive or painstakingly difficult or both and why . . . and then I was going to hit you with the best and most beautiful visual analogy of this process I’ve ever seen.

But I think I’ll just step aside and skip straight to the visual:

How’s that for an analogy?

14 thoughts on “Astounding Layers

  1. Well, it’s really perfect as an analogy and beautiful and engrossing and everything that a good character is. And just like that character it takes careful brush strokes and layers over time.

  2. This is so beautiful…you know, I see something like this and the whole time all I can think is, “I have got to try that.” It’s as if I’m unconvinced that whatever new artist you showcase isn’t a guiding force to whatever my “talent” is supposed to be, like if I keep trying all of these crazy things, one of them will be my thing.

    We need to find out what materials he’s using, because tell me that wouldn’t be awesome to try? We may need to start smaller though. Maybe with a ladybug? A gnat? Or, oh man, how cool and awesome would a jellyfish be??? We just saw the jellyfish exhibit at the Shedd last weekend.

    And you know I was just wondering what kind of new hobby you had in store for me when I clicked on that link…

    • All you have to do is check MSB’s post today to know exactly why I won’t ever be able to do something like this.

      I have no idea about the paints, but I’m sure the clear stuff is either varnish or another kind of poly that bonds with the previous layer so there aren’t any delineations, which sounds like I know what I’m talking about, except I really don’t.

      Wait until tomorrow, Lyra—I’ve got a new one for you!

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