Watchman

I really like the passages in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 21:11-12.

11The oracle concerning Dumah.

One is calling to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what time of the night?
Watchman, what time of the night?”

12The watchman says:
“Morning comes, and also the night.
If you will enquire, enquire;
come back again.”

The song of Watchmen is also sung in Psalm 130:6.

6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

The “watchmen” in the Bible was former in Japanese translated as “Patrols,” and now it is corrected to “Gate keepers.” That should be reasonable, because the watchman in Isaiah Book tells “come back again,” which should mean he is staying and the questioner is leaving.
Yet I like the former translation, with which I had been inspired for the first time.

So today’s picture.

I’d like to draw so that the watchman appearing from the dark, carrying a small lamp.
Then today’s challenge of mine is, to paint the light cast from the lamp onto the watchman, as instantly as possible. Please do not think as if I just wanted to save the time. I do want it, but I’d like more to cherish the very instance that the idea fell on me.

First, the whole figure of the watchman. Unfortunately I don’t know exactly how the people in the Bible era were dressed like, but according to many illustrations of the Bible I imagine he wore a vail and easy garments.

Today I don’t draw the outline of the figure, because it should be faded in the dark around him. Instead I put the thicker brushes on the draft.
There are yet two exceptions, the brightest parts of the picture: The light in the lamp and the eyes of the “watchman.”

I used only four colors: yellow, orange, light and dark gray. I suppose human face should look reflecting more light than the ambient, because watchers of the figure(who watch this watchman) tend to look for his face.

Let’s check how it looks in the darkness. It’s very convenient to use alpha and layers in the painting soft.

Maybe not bad.

Now all colorings is done:

Then embed him in the darkness. For the shadow I used one more color:brown.

The new japanese translation describes the watchman’s answer as “The morning will soon come, but it is still the night.”
The new translation implies “The happiness will soon come, although we are still in pain.”
It would be precise, along with which noted in the Psalm as above.

But mornings sometimes illustrates our pain more vivid. My mother died in the evening and father at night. In both case the next morning I was really impressed that the sun should rise with or without them.

So I think we would take the watchman’s word as is, as the former translation: The morning will come, and then the night will also come.

朝が来ます、夜もまた来ます。
もしあなたがたが聞こうと思うなら聞きなさい、
また来なさい。

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