Ouroboros Skeleton

I hate to waste paint so, if I find I have some paint left over from a project, I smear it into a page in my art journal where it stays as a potential first layer for some future creating.  One such page of leftovers was the basis for this week’s art journal page.  It was created in response to the Art Journal Adventure prompt for this week: the letter O.  I like vague prompts because they give me the nudge to create while giving me the scope to really do whatever I want.  You may have noticed that I like to illustrate skeletons.  They are never anatomically correct and I cannot really put my finger on why I am so drawn to them as a subject but I just go with it.  Do what you enjoy, right?  I, therefore, ended up illustrating the skeleton of an ouroboros.  The O had made me think of circles and hoops and infinity and that made me think of ouroboros, which handily begins with the letter O, and it instantly became a skeleton in my mind’s eye.  An ouroboros – just in case you didn’t know – is a serpent consuming its own tale, an image found in many mythologies, symbolising eternity through the endless cycle of life and death.

4 Ouroboros Skeleton - Art Journal


37 thoughts on “Ouroboros Skeleton

      • Well in Britain I was spoiled because we only have two species of snake and only one of those is venomous. I, therefore, was very comfortable being close to snakes and handling them – such as to rescue them. Then I emigrated to Pennsylvania and had to learn to resist the urge to get up close to snakes. I have picked up a couple here in order to rescue them but I was fairly confident they were not venomous. Only fairly confident though.

      • I see. That makes a world of difference! I’m in Texas where rattlesnakes and coral snakes abound, and a rattlesnake bite can kill a person in hours, and those who live can watch the skin on their bodies basically die and melt away. It’s terrifying.

    • Thanks, Evelyn. Art materials are so expensive. It makes sense to try and use up any excess. I cannot remember what it was I was working on but I ended up with an awful lot of various mid-green shades so there is actually another page in a journal that is green and waiting for a purpose.

  1. Nice! Interesting conversation about our reactions to snakes. I live in Eastern Canada and our snakes are harmless, so I love them. I always get a thrill of excitement when I see them. However, I can definitely see that if the sight of them meant potential death or melting away of skin, I would see them very definitely. Same with spiders. I like them. In fact, I am continually rescuing spiders from terrified family members 🙂 Again though, they are completely harmless. Our environment definitely influences our emotional responses.

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting, Eliza. Yes, I am the same way with spiders. At work, everyone gets me to capture the creepy crawlies which I then release into the great outdoors again. No troublesome spiders in the UK so I don’t have that same reaction of anxiety when I encounter them. That said, since moving to the US, I have encountered three Black Widows and, since they were on my property, I did dispatch those rather than relocate them.

  2. Oh very good design – I love the positive/negative space of it. I like the way you used a “pattern” background. Fun! I hear you – I don’t like to waste paint either – and often use leftover paint in my sketchbooks too. Recently I’ve discovered the “masterson sta-wet palette” – it helps acrylic, gouache etc. water based paints stay wet far longer (and thus not get wasted). So far I’m delighted with the “less waste” but I’m almost missing the times I’d smear leftover paint on a page…. sigh. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Rainbow Art Journal – Skeleton Deer | A Pict in PA

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