Skeleton Bear

There were two lessons last week for Life Book, one taken by Whitney Freya and one by Samie Harding.  There was absolutely no way I was going to find time to tackle two different lessons.  I thought I would choose to work on the one that appealed most to me but, in actual fact, neither really chimed with me enough to stand out.  One was abstract and one was very “art therapy” in its approach and neither of those things really inspires my creativity.  I almost decided not to work on Life Book for the second week in a row but then I had an idea: I could combine the lessons.  I could use some of the approaches from the abstract lesson to create a background and could use the concept of a totem animal from the other lesson as a jumping off point for the subject matter.  Of course, being me, I had to put my own twist on things and – as such – I turned my bear into a silhouette contain a skeleton.  You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but I did have a quick google to have a photo reference for the bear’s skull.  I actually had a lot of fun creating this painting so I am glad I found the mojo and the time to actually work on Life Book after all.

30 - Skeleton Bear

Inktober 2016 – #30 Skeleton Girl

For the penultimate day of Inktober, the Drawlloween prompt was “Skulls and Skeletons” so I decided to draw a skeleton girl.  It had been a time since I splashed some red ink into my Inktober sketchbook so I decided to add a sort of silhouette and hair to the skeleton figure for added interest.  She reminds me a little of a mixed media piece I did for a Life Book lesson back in May.  She was drawn in a bit of a rush and I am confident there is not anatomical accuracy present in my drawing but, on a day that was manically busy, I did still manage to squeeze my Inktober drawing in.

30 Inktober 2016 - Skeleton Girl

Fleshing out the Bones

Last week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Effy Wild.  Her lesson had a more art therapy approach to it than most Life Book lessons but, as always, it was easy to focus simply on the creative techniques and adapt it to be less personal and emotional.  I also had to be pragmatic about time so whereas the lesson demonstrated two layers, a flap that moved across a lower layer, I conflated the two layers into one.  I like putting my own spin on lessons so I experienced no dilemma in adapting the lesson to such a great extent.  The idea had been to have a lower layer that included a lot of handwriting and a concept represented visually by a skeleton and the flap that covered this would be a painting of a fully human figure, the flesh over the bones.  In conflating the two layers, my figure became a mixture of human and skeleton.  I, therefore, coincidentally worked on two skull faces in one week.

I decided to try out a red and turquoise colour scheme with a bit of grungy magenta over the black background and some metallic blue in the circle.  I rather like the combination so can see me deploying that palette again in future.

Week 18 - Bones of Your Story - Skeleton Woman

Sugar Skull Face

Last week’s Let’s Face It lesson was taken by Karine Bosse who had previously taught a lesson that led to me painting a Mermaid portrait.  As with Bosse’s previous lesson, the medium was watercolour but this time the subject was a Sugar Skull / Calavera portrait in 3/4 profile.  I was really pushed for time and also did not have all the materials Bosse demonstrated so I improvised a bit and reduced the number of layers and steps involved in the project.  For instance, instead of creating a more patterned background I used a wash of watercolour sprinkled with salt to create some texture.  Especially given how little time I had to invest in this piece, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Week 17 Sugar Skull

Decorating a Munny

My sons all receive monthly or every-other-monthly geeky subscription crates.  They love getting parcels in the post, love the surprise of the contents, and love to indulge in collecting geeky items.  A few months ago, my oldest son received a blank vinyl “munny” figure in his Loot Crate.  The idea of these blanks is that people can customise them.  There are some absolutely fantastic creations out there.  I know because I had not a clue about these things so I had to conduct a google.  There are some most impressive, talented people out there.  My oldest had a vague idea about what sort of design he wanted to create on the munny but was too intimidated by the thought of errors to make a start.  He, therefore, “commissioned” me to do it for him.  I have never worked with a vinyl surface before so that was a challenge.  I read about all the possible media I could use to design the munny but most involved all sorts of primers and other things I don’t own in my stockpile of art materials.  Good old Sharpies were a possibility though so my son and I decided that we would keep it simple and just work with those markers.  The Sharpies worked like a charm but it was tricky working on such a contoured surface.

So here, without further preamble, is the result of my first ever creating on a vinyl figure.  My sons love my zombie drawings with all their lines and doodles so that type of mark making and style was the brief.  Initially we were going to work with a colour in addition to black but, once I had the black pen work done, we decided to keep it monochromatic.  I am not convinced I will repeat this type of project any time soon but it was quite fun.

Vinyl Munny drawn on with Sharpie