Illustration Friday: Betrayal and Redemption

May 20, 2006 at 9:31 PM (Art)

Illustration Friday

This week’s topic at is Sorry.

For a while, I couldn’t think of any ideas that went well with this theme.  Then I decided to do something based on the "Heroic Bloodshed" genre of movies — a big inspiration, naturally, being John Woo.  This is what I came up with (click for a larger image):

Betrayal and Redemption by Karthik Abhiram

I guess the point of the Illustration Friday exercise is to convey the theme through the image and not through words.  Still, I don’t think my picture by itself is able to convey the theme of Sorry, so here is an explanation:

The characters in the picture are inspired by Ringo Lam’s City on Fire and Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.  They belong to rival gangs.  The two guys holding rifles are the bad guys, and the ones hiding behind the car are the honourable gangsters.  The bleeding guy is "Mark" and the one holding the gun to his head is "Ken".  Mark is injured, but he has betrayed Ken’s trust.  Now the bad guys are going to kill them both.  Before this happens, Mark accepts his mistake and apologises to Ken (the "Sorry" of the theme), and asks for death (a Bullet in the Head)…

By the way, the character names come from A Better Tomorrow and its sequel, and Bullet in the Head is a great John Woo movie.

This picture was done in pencil and ADD Gel ink pen.  The car was taking away attention from the people in the picture so I lightened it (and applied a "color halftone" effect) in Photoshop.  The red blood-splatter was also added digitally, as were the other touches of colour and text.

I tried a few new things in this picture.  Firstly, there are more characters than in my usual drawings, and a better (in my opinion) use of perspective.  Also I think this is the first time I’m drawing a car.

As always, comments welcome…

(Oh, and the font used in the picture is called Mailart Rubberstamp by Keith Bates.)



  1. Ismaele said,

    It is pretty odd…! 😛 Actaully I don’t like it very much.

  2. fae said,

    Very interesting take on the topic. I guess if a person lives that kind of lifestyle, they are going to deal with betrayal quite often. I doubt any of these guys would be remorseful………only sorry that vengeance is upon them.

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