Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Radio Times: Psalm 51

An interesting commission for the Radio Times where they needed an image for the magazine radio pages to accompany a Radio 4 drama called Psalm - about the playwright Ben Johnson. Specifically its about how he escaped the hangman's noose by being able to recite Psalm 51 when in the dock. A few ideas were presented but the slightly caricatured portrait image was chosen. As an alternative to my usual working method this image was rendered almost entirely in Adobe Photoshop as opposed to Illustrator, just popping into Illustrator to create the rope and gallows, as I wanted a slightly more blended use of muted colour (for me!) for the exaggerated stylised character portrait of Ben Jonson. From the show notes...

 "An old loophole in the law meant that anyone who proved that they could read from the Bible could have their case tried in an ecclesiastical court as if they were clergy, and that their sentence would be lighter. The fact that the passage normally chosen to be read was Psalm 51, with its penitential sentiments, meant that this psalm came to be called 'the neck verse’. But what if you were a condemned man, who couldn’t read? With Jeremy Whitton Spriggs as John, Kim Wall as Walters and Amanda Root as Judith."

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