This is another one of those pre-pandemic “vintage” pages in my art journal. I produced this illustration while chatting with other local artists at a meet up in a coffee shop. Feels like a different time. Anyway, I had this page that was just covered in leftover white acrylic paint and all I had with me were my travel art supplies so I pulled out a black Inktense pencil and set to work drawing something. One of the things I find beneficial about my art time is that it is just me and the paper and the materials and no other distractions. It is very calming in that way. Conversing with other people while trying to create, therefore, is a challenge for me as I get distracted. One of my solutions is to draw something so familiar to me that I really don’t have to give the illustration that much of my focus. Classic movie monsters being one of my go tos, the Bride of Frankenstein was the subject for his particular day. It’s very simple but sometimes that is what is called for.
If you have followed either this blog or my art blog for long enough, you will know that I love classic movie monsters. I draw them fairly regularly – especially during spooky season – but I realized it had been quite a while since I had drawn the Boris Karloff performance as Imhotep, the titular Mummy. I had a great deal of fun drawing the wonky proportions of the figure and I am really happy with the finished illustration.
Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to use black and white with one colour. By coincidence, my Art Snacks box had just arrived and it contained a black fineline pen and a green alcohol marker. I, therefore, decided I could combine the challenges while giving myself the additional challenge of working on a narrow piece of paper. A childhood spent watching classic monster movies means I have a Pavlovian response to black and green. The combination always makes me think of Frankenstein’s Monster. I, therefore, set about drawing the Karloff version of the Creature in the narrow space of the paper. I was very happy with the ink illustration but then worried I would wreck it when adding the green. I have never been much good at “colouring in” plus I have never used an alcohol based marker before. I rubbed some of the marker on a piece of wax paper so that I could dilute it with water and brush it on as a light wash first. That then gave me the confidence to go in directly with the marker to create darker green areas. I am pretty pleased with how the illustration turned out. I had envisaged using it as a tip-in for my art journal but two of my kids want it as a bookmark so I guess that’s its destiny.
This week’s Documented Life Project prompt was to “add a tab”. I was instantly uninspired. I don’t partake of the planner element of the project, for a few reasons, and it seemed like adding tabs was more appropriate for the planner element of the project than the art journal element. I was at a loss. I actually considered just skipping the week entirely.
Then I had an idea.
It has been a while since my kids had collaborated with me as part of the DLP. They have worked with me on two previous pages: one where they started the drawing and then I completed it and one where I had to incorporate a pocket. I decided, therefore, that the surest way of me becoming inspired was to work with my boys on the prompt. We decided upon a Halloween theme since we just celebrated Halloween on Friday. And school photos. We just received the kids’ school photos. They were not great and honestly I probably would have asked for retakes had it not been for the fact that we got drenched in a rainstorm on the walk home from school on the day they were issued with led to the photos being in less than pristine condition and, therefore, unreturnable. Monstrous school photos of cute monsters. That was my idea.
I drew four little kid monsters, from the classic movie monster range, as if they were having their photos taken. I drew a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy and a lagoon creature. I used watercolour and ink to colour and outline. Then came the tab element and my children’s input. I cut four tabs to correspond to the four monster characters and decorated them with a line of very thin washi tape to add some colour. I then used some arrow stamps to indicate the direction in which each tab should be lifted. I stamped the obverse side with some sugar skulls just to add to the Halloween theme further and to make the lifted side of the tabs more decorative. My kids’ contribution was that each was asked to draw something of their choice onto the tab that indicated who would be found beneath. My 5 year old drew a bat for the vampire, my 7 year old drew a moon and the word “howl” using a hairy font for the werewolf, my 9 year old drew a sarcophagus for the mummy and my 11 year old drew a fish for the swamp creature.
So I went from completely uninspired to inspired by including my boys in my prompt page.