Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Battle of Gettysburg/Gettysburg Civilians Series: Basil Biggs

Not much to see with this composition, yet -- in fact, you may have to look at the enlarged view to understand what it is. The only portion that shows color, at this point, is the -- um --"hindquarters" of the horse. The scene is a depiction of an event which occurred prior to and shortly before the Battle of Gettysburg: the evacuation of the town's black population, among them a farmer by the name of Basil Biggs. Understandably fearful that the invading Confederate army would take them prisoner and send them south into slavery, the local African-American residents either hid or made their way out of town to presumably safer locations.  Biggs fled town, on a borrowed horse, heading out York Road as he could see the Confederates filling the town square from the west.

I have a little more research to do, to determine what buildings were standing along this stretch of York Road in 1863, besides the Lutheran Church that I have roughly indicated to the left. But I thought that posting this very early stage would help jumpstart my progress on this piece. The composition is 16" x 20", rendered on museum board with colored pencil using a traditional dry layering, sharp point-scumbling technique.

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