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!
To find out more info on the project and it’s inventor check out Mab Graves website here.
So this is the second week of Behind the Scenes here on my Blog and I hope you enjoy looking into how each of these art pieces were made for Drawlloween this year! For more information on how I started the project make sure to check out my first post.
Wednesday 7th October • Day Seven • Vampire
For this epic Vampire prompt I thought I needed an equally epic vampire character to draw. I ended up choosing one of the most famous in history, none other than Dracula himself. In one of the most recent adaptations from BBC, the role played by Claes Bang. One that I plan to watch myself for the first time somewhen over this Halloween month, so no spoilers!
Using some reference photographs of Claes Bang as Dracula I began sketching out the design of his brilliant pose on the poster image, sitting with a wine glass at his throne. First doing basic shapes and lines to scales each of the body parts roughly, then working on top of that giving sketching out more details where needed.
Once I had a basic design I began working on the final outlines to the piece, adding in the features of the face and the ringed fingers. From these I then began drawing in the textures and shading of these with the various sketching, drawing and Organic brushes that Procreate software comes with. I was thinking of it similarly to a hand drawing, inking out the shapes and parts on top of the colour.
So of course from this stage I needed those colour layers which I added underneath the black shading parts. I was going to go straight to the vibrant red colours of the poster. But I thought about it from how they would have made it, editing and adding a red filter to a photograph. Therefore I added what I imagined to be the real life tones of the Vampire before of course adding a final red filter for make like BBC’s poster image.
So I have these final two images, I feel they overall turned out rather well, I definitely need to keep up my Drawing practice on the iPad as well as by hand. It was a rather interesting experiment and I definitely enjoyed trying to think of it in this different way, what do you guys think?
Thursday 8th October • Day Eight • Tarot
Last year if you were following my Drawlloween journey on Instagram then you may remember I have previously drawn some tarot cards that I had actually hoped to print and animate but of course this was rather to ambitious for last year.
This lead me to decide to start printing the tarot cards this year – I say start as I only have one design complete so far for today, Ace of Swords. But I am excited to design and make more after this month..
From the design last year I tweaked it to make more solid and translate better into a printed design. I used the tools in Procreate on my iPad Pro to save time, rather than having to rework by hand. This made the process quicker but also a lot easier to be accurate with easy use of straight lines and such. It also gave me the chance to see how different colours would work within the composition easily before getting to printing.
Once I had the design finalised I started to trace it onto Lino, making sure to ink the design so it would remain when I started cutting the design out. For the Lino Cut I used Pfeil L11/1 cutting tool as it is an easy to used cutter while also being small enough to cut out much of the intricate areas of the Lino design.
For printing however this was quite a difficult small print to produce as of course I want the Tarot to be a proper card size (7cm x 12cm). I wanted the cards to have this eye catching shine to them so in preparation I painted some card in various different metalic shiney paints. So I ended up doing a few pages of them within this stage. Some were better than others but the part that needed work the most I found was the writing ‘Ace of Swords’ as of course this needed to be clear enough to be able to read and it has more in it than other cards would so it may need work to perfect. But for this project I cleaned up these parts just so make sure they were readable enough. I have many ideas for the future cards that I hope to make (hoping to finally end up with a full pack of Tarot Cards!) but this stage has been a good learning curve for future cards so I am hoping this will be easier to get clear prints from in the future. For now these are a great set, printed and then cut to the final card shapes for a deck.
Friday 9th October • Day Nine • Gorgon
Another Print Day today and I really enjoyed looking into some of the old legends of Gorgons with Medusa and her sisters when I was researching for this project. Some of the stories connected to Medusa and her gorgon curse are a lot harder stories than I ever knew them to be.. If you ever get the chance to look into Stheno, Euryale and Medusa I would highly recommend it, they are an interesting family.
So I just had to draw the sisters for today, drawing them out by hand as these three powerful women, side by side with their hair of snakes. I wanted there to be a set of different patterns to the snakes so you can see some repetition but also a few different ones. From this I traced them onto Lino and began cutting the design out. Like with the Tarot cards I cut an edge around the design with a large head Essdee Red Handled Lino Cutter and then Scissor cut around it to make sure I cut the right parts out while also saving time and materials.
For printing I wanted to make some plain black ink ones but I also wanted to play around with colour gradients too, using the Blue linked with Stheno, Green linked with Medusa and Red linked with Euryale. This was a lot of fun, made easier with my new 8” Essdee Black Handled Professional Ink Roller to roll each of the colours on one roller. You can see the my two favourites in the photographs; One on a mirrored surface, the other displayed next to a postcard of the famous Medusa depiction by Caravaggio (I couldn’t resist once I thought of it). Overall these were a lot of fun, but I may have to re-cut elements of the Lino just to make sure all of it prints more clearly the next time I do a batch.
Saturday 10th October • Day Ten • Hellhound
For today’s Hellhound I wanted to delve into some painting again as I haven’t done any in a very long time (except for sculptures). I began by looking into images of hounds and hellhounds artists have produced in the past. And I started to see this angry little hound come to mind with a sharp growl that could swallow you into Hell itself..
I began drawing this image out, trying to fill it with rage and and energy that puts you on edge and shows the dog almost on edge too. It ended up being a lot smaller a dog in the end but still radiating ferociousness.
Once I had the design drawn out I began painting, Starting with lighter base layers on the hound and the dark black for the background. I began then painting the textures on top, adding darker tones to give the look of fur and the creases where they are, the fire inside the throat and blood on the claws and teeth. The final elements were the fires added around the dog and light reflecting in the eyes. Overall I really like how the Hellhound itself turned out. This is another medium I need to try and use more frequently in the future to get more practice in and develop my skills further.
Sunday 11th October • Day Eleven • Skeleton
For today’s post I had planned something different but after working on this piece and having a think I’ve decided to combine it with another prompt day. So here is the first part, A skull for today’s skeleton, don’t worry there will be more soon! This began by design – The final plan is to have an old traditional marionette skeleton. I have studied puppet making but I have never actually made my own marionette puppet so I thought this would make for the perfect opportunity to change that. I began with a simple sketched out design, planning out each element for the puppet and how I would make it work as a marionette.
From the design and with references from a fantastic book ‘Modelling & Sculpting: the Human Figure’ by Edouard Lanteri (I cannot recommend this book enough for any sculptor as it is a fantastic reference book and can really teach you a lot) I began by sculpting the skull, trying to make realistic but still quirky and aesthetic. I also made sure to use the design plan to have the appropriate holes to tie strings and of course joint the jaw bone with the rest of the skull so the mouth was still moveable. I did this by using pins and attaching them in the right place while still soft and sculpt-able.
Once the Sculpey I used was baked I then painted with acrylic paint, trying to give it an older tint to the skull rather than a bright white wash of the bones, but making the teeth more white (after having done a darker colour in the creases of these teeth). Overall trying to give the bone some shadow in the right parts to accentuate the shape of the skull. I feel this has worked out really well and explains why I want to take the extra time to get the whole skeleton to this level by combining this sculpture with Day 25 ‘Puppet’ prompt.. So make sure to hit that follow button so as not to miss out on the whole final skeleton!
Monday 12th October • Day Twelve • Grave
I created another stamp for today’s print, the second after last weeks Poison Print, or two to be more precise as I had the outlined ones and the two layer print versions. I started making this Grave Print by first designing, playing around with different styles of Grave on Procreate, saving time and effort on making sure everything was angled right and works together. Adding the RIP to each where made sense.
From these series of line drawings I chose my favourite design and traced it onto Lino before cutting the design out. To make two layers to the print I decided to make two stamps, one marginally smaller of just a solid of the shape. The other with the design cut out, to be the outline if course and the only print if I wanted a simpler single print. The simpler design probably made this one of my easiest to cut out of all my Printmaking for this project.
It definitely showed in the printing stage. I made sure to use all my extra cut off card so as not to waste materials. I did a bunch of the first layer prints in grey during my first printing session so as to make sure the layer was dry before adding the detailed print on top. These all worked out well and clear and made for some good stamp prints. I shall definitely need to use these stamp styles again in the future! The final composition was created in Procreate (on my iPad Pro) with the graves being the scanned prints.
Tuesday 13th October • Day One • Pukwudgie
When researching into Pukwudgies (I’ve honestly never heard of this creature before this year so had to look into what exactly it was) I started imagining an old sketchbook study of a creature on the go, rough and textured pages and a simple ink sketch. I began sketching out a creature based on some of the things I found in my research.
I began drawing out the character first, I wanted it to look nice but tough with it’s spikes all over. Then after having inked this little guy freehand I then began to paint the page to try and age it a little. I used coffee to stain the page and did several layers to try and make it look interesting and eye catching surrounding the creature drawing.. I like how it has turned out as I managed to do a lot that I had hoped with this little creature.
So here’s to the Second week Behind the Scenes of this awesome Mab’s Drawlloween Club project, I hope I will be seeing you next week for another instalment! Make sure to check out my Instagram or Facebook Page in the links below if you just cannot wait until then..