35 x 22
Gouache with coloured pencil on watercolour paper
The official title is: “One thing was certain: of all the teachers’ offices Harry had visited so far this year, Dumbledore’s was by far the most interesting.”
But I also refer to it simply as: “Dumbledore’s Office”
Finally! After nearly four months of no painting, I’ve been able to start again. And I can’t begin to explain how good it feels. Once we knew we were going to move, I made it my goal before hand to at least get to the point that this painting would be the first I did in the new house, and it worked. It felt fitting being in the new studio working on the painting I’ve been looking forward to doing since I started “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”.
Over all I’m happy with the way it turned out. I think my least favorite thing about it is my usual complaint. If you really pick it apart, there is some really bad perspective drawing going on; I’ve never been good with backgrounds. Fortunately, I know enough and can pull off enough to get by. And I think the slightly quirky backgrounds work well with my slightly quirky style, giving the piece a whimsical look and feel, which goes pretty well with the Harry Potter stories.
That said, I had a lot of fun with this painting. All the different things in Dumbledore’s office, both mentioned in the books and the things I added myself. I tried to make sure everything that’s been mentioned as being in there is there... with the exception of things that aren’t there YET of course. I took a couple liberties adding things I think Dumbledore would have, some things that foreshadow the future books and assume Harry just never noticed it all since there is so much there in his office to take in. And lastly I threw in a handful of things I thought would be funny/cute but not too distracting from the over all piece.
Due to popular demand, I've made a list of everything in the painting.
Things I “had” to include. Meaning, these are items that are described as being in Dumbledores office at one time or another, but most importantly this scene.
1. The portraits of former headmaster/mistresses. You can only make out 5 of them:
a. Dilys Derwent (far upper left)
b. Armando Dippet (the largest, which I assume whom ever is the most recent will always be the largest... until Dumbledore dies)
c. Phineas Nigellus Black (to the upper right of Dippet)
d. Phyllida Spore (lower right of Dippet)
e. Ambrose Swott (farthest right)
2. The Sorting Hat (on the shelf by Dippet’s portrait)
3. Dumbledore’s desk (large a claw-footed)
4. A number of spindle legged tables with *silver instruments* on them (more about the silver instruments later)
5. Fawke’s perch is lokated by the door. You can’t see the door in this picture, but it’s plotted out just off of the scene on the far right. And of course in this scene where Fawkes has just ignited into flames and baby Fawkes is popping out of the ashes on the ground.
Then I put in some other things from the Potter world, that are mentioned later, or just made sense to me they'd be in there:
1. The Pensive is kept in a black cabinet by the door, next to Fawkes‘ perch. You can only see the side of the cabinet in this illustration.
2. On that same side of the room, behind Dumbledore I put what in my mind is a collection of artifacts and books in his search for the Deathly Hallows. On the very top of the cabinet is the symbol of the Hallows.
3. Next to the Hallows symbol is Dumbledore’s edition of “Beedle the Bard”. Which I made look like the special edition books J.K.Rowling made. This will also be how the book looks that Dumbledore eventually leaves to Hermione in his will.
4. Dumbledore likes knitting patters, so I put in a basket of yarn by the window, assuming he also knits those said patterns.
5. Very hard to see are the Deluminator & Dumbledore’s pocket watch on the tall bookshelf behind his desk.
6. Above the fireplace I decided to put in a portrait of Ariana. Originally I had considered Gellert Grindelwald, having been the love of Dumbledore. But ultimately, I figured having had his heart broken by him, Dumbledore wouldn’t hang a portrait of him so prominently. But in my head one of the frames on his desk contains a photo of Gellert and him from their youth.
7. According to his chocolate frog card, Dumbledore is a fan of tenpin bowling. So I put in a pin at the far left.
8. Next to the bowling pin is a shield. On the shield, it’s not very noticeable, but I designed a logo for the Order of the Phoenix. So it’ll be seen more often and better later.
9. Bowl of Lemon Drops (or Sherbet Lemons) on Dumbledore’s desk.
It’s Christmas time, so there’s a handful of decorations. Most are on the fireplace. I figured Dumbledore would do some decorating, but saves most of it for his bedroom, which is up the stairs:
1. Mistletoe is hard to see, but hangs from the rafters, just beyond where the entrance is (it’s right by the Pensive cabinet)
2. Holly is at each corner of the fireplace mantel
3. A Santa figure holding a Christmas tree is at the base of the fireplace
4. Albus’s stocking is hanging from the fireplace
5. At the center of the fireplace mantle, bellow the portrait of Ariana is a nativity scene, the angels floating just above it.
It was very important to me to also include a Bible (which is on the stand in front of the fireplace) because in my mind, Dumbledore is a Christian, and I would think he’d have his Bible ready to consult regularly. Also I wanted a cross, which is upon the far left of fireplace mantel
I threw in a number of “Geekory” items as well. Some from movies or TV, and couple from other books.
1. The Silver instruments on the spindle legged desks, I took some liberties with. Some of the stuff I made up, just to look interesting, but strewn with in them are:
a. Lightsabers and a training sphere from Star Wars. Specifically, Qui-Gons, Obi-Wans, Anakins, Darth Vader’s and half of Darth Mauls
b. I’m not familiar with the show, but Doctor Who is british, and I’d seen his “Sonic Screwdriver” devices, so I threw them in
c. Then there’s a Phaser, Communicator and Tri-corder from Star Trek
d. And just because I was getting carried away, I put in a small replica of Robby the Robot
2. At the top of the tall bookshelf behind Dumbledore’s desk, is Jeannie’s bottle, from “I Dream of Jeannie”
3. On the other end of the shelf the sorting hat is on is, the idol Indiana Jones finds at the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
4. On the far left just going off the page, you can see a Green Lantern lantern & ring
5. Dorothy’s Silver slippers from the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” are seen at the lower left side of the page
6. Alice in Wonderland’s “Drink Me” bottle is seen at the lower rleft side of the page
7. The “Vampyr” book from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is at the far left as well
8. Speaking of Buffy, her scythe is hanging above the right window
9. On one of the foreground shelves we are seeing the backside of is Aladdin's Lamp
10. A model of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is flying around the room
11. The hourglass the witch uses in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” is to the left of the fireplace
12. On the far right side of the fireplace mantel is a golden ticket from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
13. Mary Poppin’s carpet bag and Umbrella can be seen in the lower right side of the page
14. And I just bet Dumbledore enjoys musicals, so I put a few posters following up the back side of the stair case. You can see “Les Miserables”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “The Phantom of the Opera” which I slected because of their simple basic looks that could be identified at that size. But I bet there are more leading up to his bed chamber
And lastly, I filled the room with a bunch of other stuff I thought looked cool and fit in.
1. A Trident (not from any book, but possibly Neptune’s)
2. A Shield (another one besides the one with the Order of the Phoenix logo on it, behind the trident)
3. A harp (which I like to think is the one from Jack and the Beanstalk)
5. A Gramophone
6. The skull of a dinosaur
7. A Telescope
8. A Globe
9. An old fashion camera
10. An old fashion radio
11. Other models are flying around the room besides Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, like a Blimp and an early design of airplane
12. A suit of armor
13. A mortar & pestle
14. Plenty of books, bottles, scrolls and papers all around.
And lastly. So far I’ve finished the illustrations for the first Harry Potter book. Once completed, I assembled a few mock ups using my illustrations. I put one on the tall book shelf behind Dumbledore’s desk. If you want to see what the books look like go here: [link]