This illustration is another Draw This In Your Style challenge. As with the recent Mossy Witch, this one was also set by Heather Mahler. I am finding these challenges useful in reminding me what constitutes my own style and they are also a convenient way of making efficient use of small rations of art time as I don’t have to waste time coming up with subjects or compositions. The witchy, talon-like hands gave me a lot of difficulty so I, therefore, omitted the floating hands from the original artwork and instead extended the leaf elements to fill in the composition. I can actually see lots of flaws in this drawing but I had fun drawing it so I don’t particularly care. It is still the case that the journey is more important to me than the destination when it comes to art.
Werewolves, Power Cuts, and Feral Children
On Friday, I went to work wearing a raincoat and carrying an umbrella since a rainstorm was forecast for the weekend. However, while I was at work, snow started to fall. I left work in a blizzard. Thankfully my kids were already on an early dismissal (I cannot remember the last time they were in school for an entire five day week) so two were already home and two I picked up on my way home from work. Just as we walked through the door, hoping to get cosy, looking forward to a steaming cup of tea, the power cut out. And it stayed out. From 2pm on Friday until 1am on Sunday, we had no power whatsoever. No light and no heat is pretty miserable in Winter. We kept ourselves occupied with board games and reading by candlelight. However, my 21st Century kids started to miss screens and WiFi after a mere 12 hours and things were rapidly descending into ‘Lord of the Flies’ territory. Thankfully the power came back on before they started sharpening sticks.
Since I could not do laundry, cook complex meals, or run the vacuum around, I found an unexpected ration of time to spend on art. Sure, I could have dusted but you know how I like to sacrifice dusting so I can get in some art time. I decided to work on last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt which was simply the letter W with an additional option to use shiny, shimmery or sparkly media. Perhaps it was because I had just illustrated a vampire on the previous page of my journal, but I was in a monster mood. That said, when am I never in a monster mood? For me, therefore, W was for Werewolf and I set about drawing one in ink as the sun slipped towards the horizon and the house became gloomy in the dwindling light. It seemed apt for the subject but drawing in the dark is hard on the eyes. I added the diluted ink and watercolour by candlelight while my fingers shook in the cold. Amazingly, despite the circumstances, the illustration turned out to be completely acceptable. I hope, however, to not be doing too much future art in the cold and dark. I am SO done with Winter!
Inktober 2016 – #7 The Raven
I was not feeling immediately inspired by either prompt today and, since I don’t have time in the day to ruminate and await a visit from the inky muse, I decided to just crack on with my own thing. I definitely have a Halloween / monster / horror theme emerging in my Inktober sketchbook so I decided to continue in that vein without encroaching on the territory of future prompts. Since I recently convinced my oldest son to read the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe, I decided to draw a raven. I suspect The Raven is by far and away Poe’s most famous work though I personally am a fan of Annabel Lee, the Masque of the Red Death, and Ligeia. And now I want to reread Poe. I am actually rather fond of crows and ravens. I know a lot of people find them repugnant or creepy but I love the glossy sheen of their black feathers, their sturdy shape, and their intellect. This was just a super-quick drawing – ten minutes from beginning to end – so I don’t think I have done the raven justice but I like this as a starting point. Perhaps I will turn it into a lino block print or more developed and detailed ink drawing at some stage.