I finally reached the final page of my Inktober sketchbook! Finally my extension of Inktober could come to an end. So many of my illustrations have been inspired by horror movies that I thought it would be fitting to close with another reference to a horror movie. I decided to depict Rosemary’s Baby or how I want to imagine that little devil baby looks. I think the resulting illustration is of a baby a wee bit monstrous but fairly adorable.
I cannot believe how long I am stretching this whole Inktober business out for but I am still determined to fill the remaining pages of the sketchbook and to do so before the end of the year. My latest drawing is hilariously awful. ‘King Kong’ was one of those monster movies that made a huge impact on me as a child because – as with ‘Frankenstein’ – I felt sorry for the monster character. I also loved the stop-motion of the giant gorilla in the same way that I loved all those Greek mythology movies. So the other night I thought I would sit down while watching something on TV and draw King Kong. The result was wretched. I really struggle to draw primates for some unknown reason. Despite my best efforts, I am very hit or miss. Last year, I painted Queen Kong into my altered book of monsters and I think I did a pretty good job with the ape face. I absolutely should have pulled that book out to use as a reference when drawing King Kong because the face is dreadful. It looks nothing like a gorilla. And, of course, I was drawing in ink so had no means to erase or otherwise obliterate all that had gone wrong. It does at least qualify as being monstrous so there is that.
My Inktober sketchbook seems to be filling up with my favourite movie monsters. I guess I am combining two of my passions: art and cinema. ‘Beetlejuice’ is another favourite of mine. I love the style of it and how anarchic it is, the way it plays with the idea of haunting, and the vividly kooky vision of the afterlife. I decided to draw the scene where Beetlejuice is forcing Lydia into marriage. I think the characters are recognisable even though neither drawing looks remotely like the actors. I fiddled and fidgeted and fussed over Beetlejuice’s mouth but I just could not get the shape right for it to look like that tight but toothsome thing that Michael Keaton does with his mouth. I added a sand snake not just to somewhat frame the characters and fill a blank space but also because I wanted to get some of Tim Burton’s black and white stripes into the illustration given that I had decided to draw Beetlejuice in his wedding garb rather than his striped suit.
Are you a fan of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’? I am not the biggest fan of the original Roger Corman movie but I love the musical version. I would be thrilled to see it on stage some time. Aside from the wonderful musical numbers by Ashman and Menken, the man-eating plant from outer space, Audrey II, is an inspired and fantastic movie monster. Audrey II, therefore, had to appear in my Inktober sketchbook and proved to be an ideal drawing on a day when I had zilch free time. A quick, simple line drawing was just the ticket.
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.
Next up in my drive to complete my Inktober sketchbook is this little illustration of Edward Scissorhands. I recently rewatched the movie having not seen it for many moons. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it holds up and I still think it is Danny Elfman’s best score. Despite seeing the character on screen only a short while ago, I am pretty sure I have those critical scissorhands completely and utterly wrong. It’s funny that the most iconic thing about the character design is the thing I could not conjure up in my mind’s eye as I drew him. Despite the hands – which are probably more garden shears than scissor blades – I do think Edward is instantly recognisable from my illustration.