Drawlloween is finally here, Halloween may be cancelled this year with Covid19 and everything going on in the world today.. But I am still going to do this wonderful Halloween themed art challenge as best I can. Bringing out the spooky spirit to my work! If you don’t know about Mab’s Drawlloween Club it is this awesome Instagram Art Challenge started by none other than the even more awesome artist Mab Graves. Every year she comes up with a different prompt list for artists to create art for the month of October. It is great fun and was actually the first ever Instagram challenge I tried back in 2015 and I have looked forward to it every year since.
So I thought it would great to put the exploration of my Embroidery Journey last year on hold for now while I took on this years Drawlloween challenge. So here is the first week Behind the Scenes of this spectacularly spooky month!
With the prompts from Mab Graves posted this challenge started with a lot of brainstorming as I wanted to come up with the ideas for each day of Drawlloween. First jotting down simple ideas which once more formed into a proper idea I then like to write out in my Bullet Journal so I can properly form a plan and the steps needed to complete it..
Thursday 1st October • Day One • Werewolf
For werewolf I had this image of such a creature creeping through a thick shrubbery of forest and once I thought of that I knew I wanted this to be animation, to really show the movement of such an idea it would only really work with video. To get the movement and look of a wolf right I then started to research the animal on google and began sketching and designing the composition, working out how each shot would work from one to another in the whole animation. I wanted use the digital drawn medium so began the designing of the final composition idea of this stage in Procreate on my iPad Pro.
Once I had the form of the wolf I coloured and textured it to make more realistic. I also added in the background colours and textures to create the jungle like environment. I wanted it to be dark and creepy but the eyes of the wolf to shine most and catch the viewers attention. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted the composition to be more day or night so I also added a dark blue filter on top of the layers so I could choose at a later date when the animation was complete which worked best.
The next stage was to actually animate the frames, for this I was of course doing it frame by frame within Procreate so to save time I created a few simple movements of limbs and parts of the wolf to create the movement of the wolf’s creep through the forest.. I would have preferred to make the movements more realistic but with such a daily art challenge it is important to understand the time restrictions.
And so once I had all the frames together I simply had to export them as a video, which is actually possible from the Procreate software on the iPad which certainly makes life quicker and easier. I also used Apple’s iMovie software to play around with the frames and timings to get the best possible animation timings for this slow creeping wolf. I then used Freesound online to find a series of different audio clips for the film such as background forest noises (wind, trees, insects etc) and the growl of the wolf. This creating the final film here, if you look back at the design stage above you may have noticed that I had originally planned to do a few different shots after this one but as previously mentioned I was really aware of my limitations on time and I thought I may go back to this animation again in the future after Drawlloween to finish my original design. For now this is my Werewolf creeping through the woods on a hunt, is that a full moon out?
Friday 2nd October • Day Two • Pumpkin
For many years I have wanted to buy some air plants for my home and make some cute little plant pots for them to go in. So last month when I visited RHS Wisley Garden for my birthday with my Mum and I finally found some I was excited to start making my own little pots for them. Being not long before October I knew that Drawlloween was just around the corner and I decided today’s Pumpkin prompt would make for the perfect opportunity to start. This process of course started with designing the Pumpkin itself, how the air plant would sit within it too was important, taking reference from real life pumpkins.
Once I had the style in mind I began sculpting, bulking out the initial inside with card and foil materials, so as not to waste the baking clay Sculpey that I was going to sculpt with (as shown in the sketched photo above). Once bulked out I began the proper sculpting to get the proper shape. I wanted it to be rather pop arty styled with the pumpkin just to give it the immediate recognition for the viewer. Once done it was time to bake to solidify.
The final making stage was of course colour, capturing the iconic bright orange colour of a pumpkin plant, it was was a thin line between eye catching right and too much but I think I got it about right.. So what do you guys think of my personal little pumpkin? With its stem of Air Plants, I cannot wait to get some more air plants and begin making some more pots for them.
Saturday 3rd October • Day Three • Changeling
When I read the Changeling prompt I thought of the legend of little babies being left in the woods and switched with the fairies for a changeling baby, seeing this creature wrapped up in a basket in the woods. I thought a little sculpture may be just the ticket so started the making of this by designing a little sketch of it.
From this I began bulking out the rough shape in card, keeping the baby and the crib holding it separate at first just so I could sculpt each parts elements easily first and then put the different parts together. I used the card to shape the crib out solidly and then add a thin layer of sculpey around this to help with sculpting the elements on top of these easily later. I wanted to add creepy tentacle like tree branches around the crib, linking with the wood feel of the fairies but in a creepier way for halloween feel. For the baby I had to sculpt the little features, using reference photos of babies to make more realistic but adding more points to have that fairy baby feel. And then adding creases around the body to show a blanket wrap around the body. I also pressed fabric into these elements to add an extra texture these elements.
After putting each of the parts together and baking the sculpt I began painting on them, using acrylic paints as I had done with the previous sculpt a did a base coat of a redder tone over the whole of the basket crib. Then adding a more orange tone of paint to the tentacle branches so as to bring them out more but still working with the rest of it. For the baby part of the sculpt I wanted a typical baby blue colour to the blanket (adding in the protective pentagram element to it in a grey tone). Overall I love how mystic and creepy feeling this small sculpey sculpture is and I hope you all like it too!
Sunday 4th October • Day Four • Poison
This is my first print in this collection and as soon as I saw the poison prompt I knew this today’s piece just had to be a print. I began by sketching out various different designs and styles of bottles and the poison they held by hand drawn sketches. From these I then played around with the scans a formed the best possible version within Procreate on my iPad.
I then drew out this design onto tracing paper (making sure to flip the design so it would be the right way round for the final print) so I could transfer it to the Lino. From this I then began the Lino cut (after first inking the design so it wouldn’t be lost while I took this step). This was my first time creating a more stamp like design with my printwork so I made sire to cut around the design with my tool before actually scissoring out the stamp, making it easier to print with.
Then of course I needed to actually print this design. I did various different versions for this, the first of course on plain white card with the black ink, while the others were in various coloured backgrounds with either inks or acrylic paints so as to really make those colours pop against the black ink poison bottles. From many different prints I decided on three (a red acrylic paint, a plain white and pink/purple ink) and put them into one composition in Procreate on my iPad for the day’s post. Covering them in a spooky dark smokey cloud.. be careful not to mix this up in your morning coffee!
Monday 5th October • Day Five • Witch
This post was originally meant to an animated version of an old Drawlloween creation, However when in the Isle of Wight I came across this awesome hat outside the cute boutique. It reminded me of this old fedora I regret not getting myself before and at a tenth of the price I knew I had to get it. This hat was more witchy however and when I remembered today’s prompt I knew it had to be a portrait now. So the animation design plan will have to be saved for another days work!
Instead I found myself sewing a witchy ribbon and mask combo with some Halloweeny cat netting I bought from Hobbycraft last year.. With Covid-19 I have been making myself masks for whenever I need them outside the house and I really wanted to make some more halloweeny ones for October and this was the perfect moment to make these for.. I have found this wonderful tutorial as the best design to make my mask from,
adding in some wire along the nose so I would be able to wear it with my glasses – Anyone wearing them know how steamy they get when wearing a mask. You can see each of the stages I used to make it within my photographs above.
For the ‘ribbon’ to tie around my hat I cut a length of black fabric and then began stitching the netting around it, making sure all the stitches were only seen on one side of it so they can all be hidden underneath when tied around the hat. Once these two elements were made it was a matter of creating the self portrait to show case them. A fresh hair dye (with my Pulp Riot Lemon dye) and some witchy clothes and makeup later I was ready, Not resisting showing off the awesome Witches Potion cup my cousin bought me from Killstar for Christmas ♡ So my low key Lockdown Halloween costume may have come together now!
Tuesday 6th October • Day Six • Familiar
This is my first embroidered piece for this year’s Drawlloween and I started by going through some Halloween themed fabrics I bought from Spoonflower in prep for this month. Today’s post screamed out Scarlette Soleil’s awesome ‘Raven – Ivory’ Fabric and I then drew out a pencil design of a Raven sitting on a branch.
I didn’t quite finished this piece but I managed to complete the outline of the design, working over a printed guide (which you can see in the photo still attached showing the textures I am planning to add in later). I used a stem stitch to create a solid thick outline of the features and feathers of this iconic bird and I am excited to add in the feather textures soon.
Make sure to follow not to miss out on this piece’s final finished embroidery and more of the behind the scenes parts of Mab’s Drawlloween Club over the next week!