Creatures

Creatures

It’s the 3rd time I’ve taken part in Twitters illustration collective – Animal Alphabets.  It’s been a great way to practice, try new things and see all the amazing work produced by other creatives. The Monster Movie/Book Characters round has been suitably gloomy as I love dark art – it’s also been really hard as I have a picture book to finish! I’ve made some rather mediocre monsters at times – some that are definitely on my redraw list when I have the time. Here are my favourites so far. The rest can be seen with all the other entries here.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I work. I used all kinds of references for these creatures  – my tablet is full of photos, I follow many awesome artists and my book shelf  is full of books.  I think my Spectrum collection and my Japanese Comickers  are probably the most inspiring set of books I own but then the postman brings me an Imagine FX once a month and it’s so full of awesome digital work I suddenly remember why I bought that graphics tablet. The tablet is barely used – I really will learn how at some point but I love working traditionally so much, maybe it was a massive waste. I really hope not but I think it was, deep down.

I need music when I work – I go through dreadful phases of being hooked on the same thing and then suddenly it’s all over and a new fad starts. Right now it’s anything Tokyo Ghoul – that season 1 opening theme!  I just finished the anime (season 1 and 2) and I’m heartbroken. Not sure if it’s because it’s over for now or if the story was just so sad.  I have started purchasing the Manga.

Bibliography and Inspiration

Spectrum Fantastic Arts

Imagine FX

Japanese Comickers

@AnimalAlphabets (Twitter)

Music I listened to

Probably a lot of metalcore and goth – as is my way.

Tokyo Ghoul Season 1 – full song Unravel by TK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0v3ajXh5S0

Tokyo Ghoul Season 1 Actual Intro with characters/art

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMeR2W19wT0

http://www.pandora-epic-music.com/

 

Advertisements

Spoopy

Spoopy” is an Internet slang word used to describe something that is comical and spooky at the same time. Originally seen on a photograph of a misspelled Halloween sign (source: Wikipedia)

Not sure if all of my Drawlloween submissions come under that but I like the word and that cute sort of humour, so spoopy it is. I guess disaster might be a good descriptive word for some of them – weirdly most of the ones I hated were the most popular. Pity points? Maybe?

My favourites and potential redraws are the Little Witches, the Spider Bride (bottom of this entry),  Plague Doctor and Crypt Creep. I learned that the Windsor and Newton ink I used is a little like water colour in application and a bit of water will keep it wet for longer leaving you ample time to make an absolute mess of it before it dries in to rancid streaks of bleak. Happily you can add another layer and pray it masks all that heartache or develops into an accidental masterpiece.

 

I did learn to like the fineliners, a little. The very fine pens (my finest being 0.05) aren’t too much trouble and I used mine as I would a pencil – working out the details and lines, and lightly adding fine marks to build up the lights and the darks. I also realised that, though it may be frowned upon by some, lightly drawing out your piece in pencil will actually help build confidence as it prevents mistakes and despair. I simply drew my idea, erased my mistakes and worked away until I was happy. I rolled a putty eraser over the pencil work to make it even lighter (and pick up any graphite dust) and then drew over the work with my pen. I realised that I could actually use the pen and come away with a decent line drawing – all ready and waiting for pen marks to create the form, shadows and little details. Maybe even mess it up! But at least it had a fighting chance.

 

Drawlloween31_edited-3

Days 1 to 16

Drawlloween31_edited-4

Days 17 to 31

Bibliography and Inspiration

A lot of inspiration was found in fellow Drawlloweeners and spooky movies.

My slowly growing Spectrum book collection – Spectrum 24 is out this month!!!

Music

I have pretty much spent the entire month listening to Deftones. I recommend ‘Rosemary’ – its subject matter is very sci-fi, and ‘Tempest’.

 

Our Rats are Low

I have been dreaming about rats, although thinking about it, it might have been a very large gerbil, but its probably because I have been drawing rats lately. I think it is true that we often relive or make sense of our waking experiences in our dreams and I have produced a few illustrations involving rats so far, so I decided one more couldn’t hurt.

I rather like rats – there are, perhaps, way too many wild ones for us humans but I think they are inquisitive and intelligent, if a little blood thirsty , gnarly and low. And they are part of the clean-up crew so need fair representation.

Rat

I experimented with pastel pencils, watercolour, watercolour pencils and ink. I don’t want to talk about the ink as it didn’t end well, but the other experiments paid off and I drew (using watercolour and watercolour pencils) a rat that had clearly been up to no good.

I worked with damp paper, dropping in a background wash and then, once dry, I added details and textures with the watercolour pencils. Some of this was blended with a damp brush and then sharpened up again with the pencils.

These are other rats I have worked on. I am especially proud of The Feast (one in graphite) – it married very well with my mission to draw hands and practice gesture. The bonus of the hand being consumed by Low creatures is that wonky bits can easily be blamed on the little nibblers!

Bibliography and Inspiration

Anatomy Essentials, Imagine FX/Future Publishing.

Beginners Guide to Sketching: characters, creatures and concepts, 3dtotal Publishing, 2015

Music I listened to

Chronicles of the Wasteland/ Turbo Kid Original Motion Picture Soundtrack  –  Le Matos, 2015

The Devil Wears Prada – Space EP

Faith and the Muse – various

The Gnarly Knuckle

I’ve been doing some work on hands – it’s something I’ve really started to love to draw – they are not that easy and just to make life even harder I like to choose really awkward poses – it’s rewarding to draw, more interesting to look at and sometimes a gnarly zombie hand emerges from the graphite dust just begging for some rot to be added to its suffering limbs, and what’s not to like about that!?

AgfaPhoto DIGITAL CAMERA

Hand drawn in graphite

The first drawing was done from some photos of my hand and arm in tense gestures. I wanted all the tendons to show so I could try getting the tension down on paper. I think I succeeded and the next step was to re-do the piece in watercolour pencil, like another zombie hand I made recently.  I used tracing paper to transfer the image and I did a little research (see bibliography) to figure out what level of rot and bone exposure I would be going for.

I traced it onto a watercolour background I had painted previously – I like practicing washes and trying different colour mixes to create atmosphere, and I always try and make them with possible backgrounds for drawings in mind – it’s less wasteful!

AgfaPhoto DIGITAL CAMERA

The Gnarly Knuckle – gnarled with watercolour pencils

For this drawing, I intentionally used a lot more watercolour pencil than I would normally go for as I wanted the hand to look like old, rotten, dirty skin – perhaps a little too much in retrospect as there were some areas that looked a little too muddy even for a dead thing – so, I re-wet the areas I wasn’t happy with and lifted some of the colour off with some clean kitchen paper. I then used a clean, wet brush to blend and pull the colours around until I was happy. Once dry, I went back in with the watercolour pencil and tidied up any lost lines or little details I wanted to keep. I will probably do more pieces like these – it’s excellent practice and seriously good for ones calm.

Bibliography and Inspiration:

Leonardo da Vinci, Anatomist , Clayton. M, and Philo, R, Royal Collection Publications, 2014

Fantasy Underground – How to Draw Zombies,  Butkis, M, and Destefano, M, Walter Foster Publishing Inc, 2010

Beginners Guide to Sketching: characters, creatures and concepts, 3dtotal Publishing, 2015

3dtotal.com

Craftsy.com

Music I listened to:

The Zombie E.P – The Devil Wears Prada

Siouxie and the Banshees-  Hyaena

The Chameleons

Requiem in White