I found myself with enough time to tackle another Draw This In Your Style challenge and – since we are still in spooky season and Drawlloween – I thought I would tackle the challenge of drawing a teen vampire by an artist named Alexandra. I always find it fun to translate digital art into my analogue ink and watercolour and this one was no exception. I think my version looks more tween than teen because I drew fuller cheeks but otherwise I stuck pretty closely to the composition and colour palette.
I am back in the classroom and my own kids are back in school so I am immensely, overwhelmingly, exhaustingly busy. However, I am working hard at carving out time for art as a way to decompress and balance things out. I am currently beavering away through Drawlloween, the annual daily drawing challenge, and sharing my illustrations on my other blog. By some miracle, I found myself with extra time to draw this past weekend so – what with my creative brain being fried from the daily drawing – I thought I would have a crack at a Draw This In Your Style challenge. I selected a vampire created by Heather Mahler because it’s still spooky season. I have done two of her previous DTIYS challenges because her subject matter appeals to me, I like her colour choices and the way she utilises symmetry and asymmetry while her style and medium are very different from my own. I really enjoyed creating this drawing. It all came together with ease so was very relaxing to work on.
This blog has gone a little dormant generally. What with the pandemic and all, I just have not been up to enough in my life that generates blog fodder. This blog has, however, gone especially quiet when it comes to my art dabbling. That is not for the lack of art in my life, however. On the contrary, I have been drawing near daily since June. I have been sharing the results of a personal challenge (illustrations of vintage photos) and now Drawlloween drawings over on my blog that is dedicated to only art. Since all of my art time has been invested in those projects, art journaling has been placed so much on the back burner that it is stone cold. While I intend to take a break from daily drawing, I am going to return to art journaling in order to keep up with regular practice and stop those creative gears seizing up from rust.
Draw This in Your Style (DTIYS) challenges on Instagram seemed like a good way to get back into playing around and experimenting in my art journal. The subject matter and composition is all set for me so I just need to – like it says on the tin – draw it in my style. I thought I would have a crack at a recent art work by Behemot titled “Pale Girl and Very Suspicious Cat”, not least because the monochromatic palette appealed to me aesthetically and in terms of time management. I am pleased with my version of the Pale Girl. I think my illustration shares DNA with the original but is very clearly my style. It is a fun challenge to translate digital art into analogue so I am going to seek out a few more of those I think.
One of the interesting side effects of the way in which I create art these days – always short on time, often in multiple stages, often while multi-tasking – is that it has become clear what my automatic go-to art supplies are. The fact that I almost always reach for ink and watercolour tells me that that is my creative “home”. I, therefore, think that I should focus my skills development on those media. However, I still intend to dabble in other media because I don’t like being hemmed in or stuck in a creative rut. However, it is probably good to know that ink and watercolour are my comfort zone.
I grabbed some time this weekend to play in my art journal. I used last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt which was the letter V. I never really need much prodding to illustrate mythology and monsters so as soon as I saw V I thought Vampire. I resisted my automatic impulse, which was to draw Nosferatu (my favourite vampire) yet again and to instead try something different so I decided to draw a glamorous, fin de siecle lady vampire. I not only kept things simple with just ink and watercolour but I also simplified things by using just black and red. I like that combination and notice it crops up a lot in my ink work.
We are almost at the end of this week and yet I have only just completed a page for last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt. Of course, participating each week is not compulsory and there are no deadlines and I can even skip weeks. I am part of this group simply because a weekly prompt reminds me to at least try to find the time to play around in my art journal. For that reason, however, I really notice when I don’t get around to responding to a week’s prompt. It means I have not even managed to find some little slivers of time, a ration in my week, in which to crack open my art journal and splash some media around. It is a sure fire sign that my life has been too over-scheduled and too hectic when I don’t even find the time to dash off a quick 15 or 20 minute piece of art on a journal page. Ironically, it is when I am most stressed and over-stretched that I need art most as a means to slow down and decompress. Funny how that works.
The prompt I have been trying to find time for is the letter D. I ended up with D standing for Dracula. The Dracula who emerged on my page definitely has the look of Count Orlok of ‘Nosferatu’ rather than Bela Lugosi’s more suave vampire. I actually have a tendency to draw Orlok over Dracula when it comes to vampires, despite my love for the classic Universal monster movies. It was Orlok who appeared in my 2016 Inktober sketchbook and in my altered book of monsters. Maybe I should challenge myself to depict the dapper Dracula next time I am in the mood to draw a vampire. I am not entirely happy with this journal page as far as the art goes – my vampire looks a bit too much like a house elf – but I am happy I finally managed to get some art time.
Halloween – Art Journal Page
Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was Halloween. I had received my October Art Snacks box but had not attempted the challenge of using all of the items to create art. Since one of the things in my box was a jar of orange ink, it seemed like the subject of Halloween might be a good way to kill two art birds with one stone. I was initially going to go much darker and creepier with my Halloween art work but – perhaps since I was drawing while watching ‘Frankenweenie’ with my kids – my creative mojo led me to draw a band of cute monsters trick or treating. This was my first time using brush pens. It took a while to get the hang of how to hold them to create different strokes and widths but it was fun trying something new, which is the point of receiving a box of art goodies each month.
Inktober 2016 – #22 Vampire Girl
It has been a busy day and I am still dealing with some nasty chest cold grot that has been waxing and waning for several weeks now so it looked like there was every chance I was going to have to skip a day of the Inktober challenge. However, I got into my pyjamas and snuggly housecoat as soon as I got home today and put pen to paper. Today’s Drawlloween prompt was “Bat-urday” so I decided on a vampire. In order to avoid falling into the trap of drawing Bela Lugosi, I decided to draw a tweenage girl vampire and some bat companions.
Inktober #18 – Nosferatu
Today’s Drawlloween prompt was “Nosfera-Tuesday”. Right up my street. You know I love horror movies and one of the oldest of my favourite horror movies is ‘Nosferatu’. Despite being a silent movie from 1922, my kids really enjoy the movie too. Nosferatu is a great horror character and so iconic, from his distinctively cadaverous rodent features to his long, skeletal fingers to the jagged shadows he casts as he moves around. He was one of the movie monsters I painted into my altered book last year so I really enjoyed drawing him in ink today.
Halloween Tabs Art Journal page
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.
This was not the only art project I worked on this week. I also created a lino block print of Danae which you can read about and see over at my Art Blog, Pict Ink.
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