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Chapter XXIII

 


Size: 59 cm x 34 cm

Pip and Herbert have lunch together with the Pocket family, Startop, Drummle, and Mrs. Coiler at the Pockets house in Hammersmith, London.

This lunch scene is a blend of nice moments from the chapter, rather than a specific scene.

1: Belinda Pocket, the mother; 2: Baby Pocket; 3: Drummle; 4: Mrs. Coiler; 5: Pip; 6: Startop;
7: Herbert Pocket; 8: Jane Pocket; 9: Fanny Pocket; 10: Mathew Pocket, the father;
11: Pocket sisters, 12: Joe Pocket, 13: Dog sniffing Belinda's handkerchief; 14: Alick Pocket;
15: Flopson, Millers and the page boy.


The scene shows a lot of characters: On the very right, sitting enthroned over a dog, Belinda Pocket (1), the mother of Herbert, two brothers, four sisters, one baby, and another one to come, looks absent-mindedly out of the picture. A dog (13) sniffs at the handkerchief she likes so much to let fall to the ground. Despite being such a productive mother, she doesn't really care about the well-being of her children - here, ignoring the baby (3) on her lap almost tumbling off, and putting its eyes out with a nutcracker. She rather spends time talking about her almost-noble ancestry with the almost-noble glutton Drummle (3), who sits to her right, and is 
working himself through a glass of champagne, and a piece of cake.

Next to Drummle, Mrs. Coiler (4), the toady neighbour, bores nonchalantly into Pip's (5) past, while he
tries to concentrate on the right company-manner on how to eat cake. 

Startop (6) is chewing on a piece of cake, while Herbert (7) pleasantly oversees the chaotic scene, as he's used to it. The seats between them are empty, for the children already got up.

Jane (8) is worried about the careless way, in which her mother dismisses the baby, and tries to make it notice to her father, Mathew Pocket (10), whose arm she is clutching. Latter is split in his attention towards his one daughter, and his other, Fanny (9), whose hand he's inspecting, pointing out that she got
a whitlow. 

While the other Pocket sisters (11), whose names I didn't catch, are whispering to themselves (perhaps about the new subtenant, Pip?), Joe (12), "with the hole in the frill", is chasing after a cat, which is hiding under the bambus-bench. 

Alick (14) in an obstinate mood is dressed as a pirate. Staying in character, he tries to snatch away the remaining pieces of cake, the servants had left carelessly on the trolley. 

At the far left (15), Flopson and Millers, the head-servants, are scolding a "dissipated" page boy, who lost some buttons on the gaming table. Both servants were drawn away from the table in the heat of the action, because one has a cake knife in her left hand, and the other brandishes a tea pot on her right.  

  

For a long time I had some ideas on how to approach this chapter. It should have been a
slanted view from the top, in which every participant of the meal is seated regularly on 
a long table, with Mathew Pocket, the Father on top, "lifting himself up" according to Pip, what
I understood as stretching himself. But I found the idea too boring, too overdone. Most of my illustrated scenes revolve around people sitting at tables, and after a while I had to come up
with something new, to make the image more interesting for the viewer, and for me to draw.

I reread the scene, and I noticed, that the children might not have been present at dinner. No illustration is perfect.



Chapter XXXIX


Magwitch's, Pip's convict and benefactor, stay in Australia. He is a shepherd and he is bothering the colonists.

Chapter XXXV


∅ 39,8 cm

The Last Journey: The funeral of Pip's Sister Mrs. Joe Gargery. The funeral execution is put on by Trabb, who isn't in this picture, and is depicted here in its starting-point, Pip's childhood house in the marshes. 

The centre of the picture is occupied by Mrs. Joe Gargery's coffin carried by six undertakers, who are, according to the book, "stifled and blinded under a horrible black velvet housing with a white border [...] the whole (looking) like a blind monster with twelve human legs, shuffling and blundering along, under the guidance of two keepers."
The keepers help the bearers out of the front door to the left, by holding hands with the foremost undertakers. One of the keeper is close to the door, the other has his back to the stair on the right. The keepers wear tricornes, and hold mourning wands ("crutch done up in a  black bandage").  
On top of the velvet housing is a funeral wreath with a generous bush of meadowsweets on top.

Wrapped in mourning weeds, the funeral attendees hold their handkerchiefs to their face, and walk in pairs of two: Closest to the coffin are Joe and Pip, then come Mr Pumblechook and Biddy.

For this picture I chose to use a fisheye effect, concentrating therefore the view on Mrs.
Joe Gargery's coffin under the black velvet cloth. 

Chapter XXXVII

Size: 42 x 42 cm

In this chapter, Pip is invited by the law firm clerk Mr. Wemmick to partake at his Sunday evening at his house in Walworth, London. There he meets Mr. Wemmick's father and Mr. Wemmick's lady friend Miss Skiffins. After dinner and tea, Mr. Wemmick asks his father to read out loud the newspaper whilst the other take a seat around him and listen closely.

Then, the picture captures following moment:

As Wemmick and Miss Skiffins sat side by side, and as I sat in a shadowy corner, I observed a slow and gradual elongation of Mr. Wemmick’s mouth, powerfully suggestive of his slowly and gradually stealing his arm round Miss Skiffins’s waist. In course of time I saw his hand appear on the other side of Miss Skiffins; but at that moment Miss Skiffins neatly stopped him with the green glove, unwound his arm again as if it were an article of dress, and with the greatest deliberation laid it on the table before her. Miss Skiffins’s composure while she did this was one of the most remarkable sights I have ever seen, and if I could have thought the act consistent with abstraction of mind, I should have deemed that Miss Skiffins performed it mechanically.“


While the book focuses on describing the castle from the outside, having a stinger gun, and resembling indeed a little castle made out of wood, I tried to envision how the parlour would have looked like. The banner on top, the castle on the chimney piece, as well as the crown like chandeliers, and the weapons on the left wall hint at Mr Wemmick's partiality towards the medieval times. 

Chapter XXXVIII

Size: 27cm x 23cm
At a reunion of The Finches & Groves, the club to which Pip and Herbert are, since their coming of age, members, Bentley Drummle is called to toast on a lady of his acquaintance. After sneering at his adversary Pip, he calls the company to pledge him to Estella! This remark makes Pip seeth with anger and jealousy. Pip, who has his back to the viewer, rises in his place and accuses Drummle of toasting to a lady whom he knew nothing of. Drummle immediately starts up and demands Pip to explain himself, whereas the other gives a flowery invitation to a duel!

Would this have been Puschkin, Pip and Drummle would have without hindrance shot each other to death. Luckily it's Dickens, so both parties get calmed down by the club and Drummle has only to present a paper verifying his acquaintance with Estella.

Chapter XXXIV

Pip (sic!) recieves the letter of his sister's departing.

Inside myself there is always the quest to improve upon my drawings. The general viewer may remark, that I'm very good in my endeavours and that my technique is very fine. That's all good and fine, but there is always the impulse to strive for perfection.

When I figured out how the style and format of the drawings were going to be, the act of illustrating became more and more an execution of specific strokes and techniques. The initial hesitancy in putting down a line on the paper to commence the drawing grew more faint and less powerful. After I'd done my few sketches and simulated a 3D-model of the scene on the computer, I would take a sheet of paper and draw a grid on it and then pen my way to the end.

After a while I felt stuck with the same formulas and I wanted to explore something new. So, I tried to dilute ink with water to get a greyscale going. Unfortunately it ended in a messy job, and I had to correct the coloring in postdoc.

Chapter XXXIII


Pip makes Tea for Estella at King's Cross.