Benamon has done it again! It’s just a week since we published his previous column article ‘The Ballad of Leopold and Adolphu’ see here. This week Benamon has created another wonderful piece for to his PictureBook Column, once again bursting with creativity and imagery both in words and pictures – thank you Benamon.
The concept behind the PictureBook column is not just about capturing stories but creating them, the journey behind and the image we present. PictureBook draws on Images selected from Benamon’s own story series and also looks at the work of the other story tellers within the community’.
Over to you Benamon (foreword by Joanne Carter)…
‘The Clown in Yellow’ – ©Benamon Tame
Dawn was approaching, its soft light moving slowly through the dark woods as if it sensed it was not welcome. The light heralded the end of the show and faces that had framed the stage now faded back into the dark and to the cold beds and ordinary lives.
A white faced figure moved slowly through the maze of tents, carriages and stalls that made up the Reflected Circus and stopped at the last. Set apart from the others, the very space a warning and a mark of distinction.
Taking off his dunce hat Yorick entered the yellow tent and bowed his head in wary respect to the cabinet that lay as the spaces only ward. At the base of the dark wood box a sliver of white card could be seen, laid like a small offering before a strange shrine.
Careful to avoid looking directly at the cabinet and to the figure that stood beyond the glass, wise to the temptation of knowledge and doubly wise to the price it demand, he pocketed the card and withdrew to find the Ringmaster.
The Clown had made its will known and the Family would have their Tithe.
‘Yorick .Clown of the Reflected Circus’ – ©Benamon Tame
Things are never what they seem within the Lost Toy Room and the role of puppet and master are even less clear. Behind the Rule of Loki Babel worked to further his own goals but behind babel stands the Clown in Yellow. Babel discovered him on one of his own explorations of the toy room and its many annexes. Seemingly unable to leave the cabinet, the Clown none the less seemed to possess great power and allied itself with Babel. The Clown had once been part of the Reflected Circus, a traveling circus and freak show that the Thorn family were patrons to. The Circus would visit the family estates once a year, putting on a grand show for their benefactors and paying them a tithe from the years takings, payment for the Family’s protection and for other services not forgotten.
One year the Clown gave out one of its card predictions but directed to the Circus, that it would be the years Tithe. The Reflected Circus was not as other troupes and obeyed without question and the Clown found itself within the grounds of Ravena Court and eventually amongst those lost.
Babel is aware that dealing with the Clown poses a greater risk than Loki ever did, but the promise of power and knowledge is too great and he hopes to hold some strings and use him as he is used. The Clown represents a primeval force within the Lost Toy Room, a conscious and deliberate malevolence compared to the instinctive force of Barrow House. The Clown in Yellow is the Devil to Babel’s Faust.
Babel believes he is the only toy to have found the Clown, but he was also found by Stratford from the Dreaming Troupe and the Clown in Yellow has promised him a play.
‘Tell me a secret’ – ©Benamon Tame
The Clown in Yellow has been one of my most time consuming pieces, mainly due to my decision to dress him in Yellow! The initial inspiration was from the piece in the museum and with hindsight a little bit of Stinky Pete from Toy Story! While the title itself is a homage to ‘The King in Yellow’ by Robert W. Chambers which I have started reading as part of current Cthulhu Mythos addiction!
‘Clown1’ – ©Benamon Tame
The initial shots were taken at a Clown Museum and Vintage arcade ( Wookey Hole, UK)
Cropping a close up of Lord Charles I wanted to centre the piece more so I mirrored it using Leonardo and then tidied it up and added back the top hat from the original using Juxtaposer. The face was a bit to modern so I changed it for one of the clowns and added the bow-tie. My idea was for the clown to be in yellow so using Photostudio I inverted the image and then added the YellowGel filter in Pictureshow. Transferring back to Juxtaposer I laid the original over the yellow version and brought the yellow suit through.
‘Clown 2’ – ©Benamon Tame
Unfortunately after all that effort I was not happy with the result, both in the look of the fabric or his overall appearance so I went back to the images from the shoot and found the framed costume shot. Using Juxtaposer I dressed up the figure in the new costume and as it was already white I turned it yellow using Iris Photo Suite using the Golden filter and then changed the colour using the tuning options in Adjustments.
Back in Juxtaposer I overlayed the original over the yellow version and then removed the white to show the yellow. This took the best part of two days on and off as I wanted to keep as much of the red detail as I could without going blind
‘Clown3’ – ©Benamon Tame
With the new clown done I went back to his box and in Juxtaposer added the box to a spot of the blank wall and then added the Clown. Using Touch Retouch and Juxtaposer I removed the text from the boxes and then opened it up in Phonto and added the new.
‘Clown4’ – ©Benamon Tame
‘Clown5’ – ©Benamon Tame
The piece was then finished off in Snapseed, adding the final texture and the shade.
The Typewriter remix was made using Lo-mob in addition to those already mentioned. For ‘Tell me a secret’ I used a portion of another piece for the texture (Gallows Watcher) and then blended in the Yellow Sign which I had drawn in Paper and one of the signs from the
Music played for these pieces were Linkin Park, Churches and John Newman.
‘The Clown in Yellow. Typewriter remix’ – ©Benamon Tame