Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Old Witch, Part One
The Old Witch (detail).
This is the second image for a recent project. I'm in the middle of the third, and The Creature  was the first. I love drawing Frankenstein--same with witches--so heading to the studio has been a true pleasure lately.

Witches and apples in fairy and folk tales seem inextricably paired. And what's a magical person without a familiar? In this lady's case, it's a slightly tilting, crabby owl!
Disorganized (I am getting better), my prelims usually end up scattered in random sketchbooks and drawers. I know there were more, but these are some preliminary witch-head studies. The thumbnails for the composition elude me at the moment. 

The idea of The Old Witch has been with me for years, probably beginning with an old Aurora model I built as a kid, and...
...the amazing Graham Ingels' Old Witch
Growing up, a tremendous amount of images got seared into my brain thanks to the barber shop's comic book collection. This is only one of those pictures that scared the pants off me, thus never forgotten. 
Dug up some more prelims--early versions of the venerable sorceress, and an idea for the text banner.

Once the witch's pose was settled on, a hand-selfie with apple was necessary.
But I'm getting ahead of the post.
I also worked on the border. Here it took on a Celtic spin...
...but changed my mind in favor of a cauldron. That doesn't last either. The bird skull finally takes shape here though.

Well that's it for Part One--more next post--and

Thanks, as always, for checking out my blog!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Victorian Ghost Sketch
Ghost in the Bath sketch

My studio work-life is occupied with preparing art for a show coming early December. Thus, practice-sketch time has to be grabbed on the fly. I have my travel sketchbook and drawing box with me most times, or a book at least--just in case I get stuck waiting somewhere. This time I had both. The book is a collection of Victorian ghost stories by the great M.R. James. The story, Lost Hearts concerns a boy who's treated to a vision of a spectre, seen through a glazed bathroom door in the middle of the night.

The scene, in which the corpse-like ghost is laying in the tub (and surely must have influenced Stephen King for The Shining) raised the hairs on the back of my neck! This quick sketch, with the spirit out of the tub, was drawn with pencil and Rapidograph. Later in the studio I washed it with white ink.
Ghost in the Bath sketch (detail)

For me, ghosts aren't relegated to Halloween. In fact, they are a year-round preoccupation that reaches peak intensity during the winter holidays. Continuous experimentation with transparency techniques using ink is also a preoccupation. If you are a regular visitor here (thanks, by the way!) you've seen a bunch of posts concerning ghosts. If you haven't though, here's one of them:

And if you love ghost stories, don't skip the chance to read M.R. James.

Thanks for the visit!

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