It is creeping closer to the time of year when we can start watching all of our favourite Christmas movies again. I am very much looking forward to evenings tucked up on the sofa with my kids greeting these movies like old friends. ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘Muppet Christmas Carol’, ‘Elf’ and so many more movies will start to get us in the festive mood. One of my favourite Christmas movies, with a slightly different vibe is ‘Gremlins’. The mogwai and gremlin characters in that movie are a joy and I love all the B movie elements it parodies and celebrates. I was tempted to draw a sweet and pure little mogwai in my sketchbook but concluded it was more apt to stick with my monster theme and draw a gremlin, namely the leader of the gremlins, Stripe. Since I forego using reference photos, I realised too late that I had drawn Stripe standing rather too erect. In actuality, Stripe does not have the best posture and has more of a slump or hunched pose. Never mind. Let’s imagine that this is what a gremlin would look like after a visit to a chiropractor and some yoga.
I am a big Alfred Hitchcock fan, have been since childhood. I think I started with the ‘…Presents’ TV show and then got into the movies but it may have been the other way around. I was so wee that I can’t actually remember. ‘Vertigo’ is my favourite movie after ‘Jaws’. I also love ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ and ‘Rear Window’. When I first visited Northern California, back in 2000, I made sure I visited several filming locations of Hitchcock movies. These included Bodega Bay where I ran around like a nitwit pretending I was being attacked by birds, as I am sure when visitors do. ‘The Birds’ is one of those movies I enjoy precisely because it defies resolution in the same way that I enjoy ‘The Shining‘. I won’t discuss it more so as to not risk spoiling it for any reader who has not seen it but I like that it is ambiguous and mysterious. I think it contributes to its unsettling atmosphere. My mother, on the other hand, absolutely hates ‘The Birds’ for the same reason. All of which preamble is to explain why I chose to draw an iconic scene from ‘The Birds’ – based on the movie poster indeed – as the next illustration in my Inktober sketchbook. You will note that I still pretty much suck at drawing birds. These are definitely cousins to my Raven.
It’s a quick fly-by post from me today as I am just home briefly from work before heading out to volunteer at my sons’ school. I am pleased to report, however, that despite the hectic schedule today and still slowly recovering from my illness, I managed to produce today’s Inktober drawing. I actually cannot believe I have managed to keep this going despite everything I have been juggling. I am so glad I took the plunge to participate this year. I turned to the Drawlloween prompt again today and it was “Call of C’Thursday”. It is so funny to me that, despite the fact I don’t particularly have any fondness for the writings of Lovecraft, I seem to draw and paint Cthulhu frequently. I painted one twice in my altered book last year and recently I shared that my 9 year old made a Sock Cthulhu for one of his brothers. Apparently the Pict family cannot get enough of Cthulhu. (I didn’t erase my pencil sketch marks before taking the photo with my phone. Oops.)
Today’s Drawlloween prompt was “They came from outerspace!” and I was immediately kicking myself that I had not glanced ahead at the prompts before drawing my Xenomorph. So I had to think of another horror beastie from outer space for today’s Inktober drawing. I did think of ‘The Thing’, it being one of my favourite horror movies, favourite movies even, of all time but I decided it would be too challenging to draw, especially in a brief gobbet of time. Just as the kettle boiled, I had my idea: a critter! ‘Critters’ is a B movie horror from the 1980s that spawned a few sequels. It’s not top notch quality by any standards but it’s schlocky fun and the naughty aliens are a visually strong and memorable element. So a critter it was. This drawing was going pretty well I thought and then, for the first ever time, my fountain pen burped and left a big fat ink blob on the paper. Grrr. At least it wasn’t right in the middle of the drawing. Still annoying though.
For today’s Inktober drawing I got to scurry back to my subject comfort zone: zombies! The Drawlloween prompt was “Entombed Tuesday” which could have been interpreted several ways but, of course, as a massive fan of zombies there was only one way I was determined to interpret it. I realised, however, upon putting pen to paper, that it has been really quite some time since I last drew a human zombie. Most of my zombie drawings are of zombie animals so it was fun to draw an undead human again, crawling and clambering out of his grave. This quick drawing has reminded me how much I enjoy drawing zombies and how I should try to find more time to draw them.
For yesterday’s Inktober drawing, I again did without a prompt as I didn’t have any interesting ideas springing forth from either set of prompts I have been using. I decided to draw Bigfoot. He is a bit more stern and gruff looking than the Bigfoot (or Sasquatch or Yeti) that I painted in my book of monsters but I don’t think he is too scary looking. Within thirty seconds of starting to draw in the little individual hairs I was regretting that decision. Trying to get all of those drawn within the space of my morning tea break was a challenge. Had I not drawn them, I could have just called him the Abominable Snowman.
For my 15th Inktober drawing, I again turned to the Drawlloween prompt which was “Drive-In Creature Feature”. I immediately had a clear idea in my head of a couple sitting in a car watching the movie and having tentacles appear in the back seat and start wrapping around them. I also thought compositionally that the windscreen of the car could frame the scene. The drawing got pretty busy but I hope my idea translates well enough.