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:  http://tomsarmo.blogspot.com/2014/05/phantom-fixation.html

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

Thanks for the visit!

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