Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Inktober - 2019

Claude Rains was the Invisible Man (1933)

Another Inktober effort. The Invisible Man remake with Elizabeth Moss promises to be really good, but I beg you, don't skip the original. At least watch this scene:

"We'll begin with a reign of terror, a few murders here and there...!"


Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Inktober - 2019 - Week 1

Grace Jones Katrina VAMP 1986 Illustration Digital Colour
VAMP, Grace Jones colour illustration.

Grace Jones Katrina VAMP 1986 Illustration Dotwork
Grace Jones dotwork

Grace Jones from the movie
Vamp (1986).
 My theme this year is Monsters and Villains. I'm picking my favourites from film, TV and literature. I'm using the opportunity of this 30 day drawing challenge to really practice my dotwork skills, adding colour digitally. Although, as always I'm being ambitious with the time I've got, so we'll see.

Eraserhead dotwork portrait david lynch
Jack Nance in David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977)

Mads Mikkelsen Hannibal Dot Work Portrait
Bryan Fuller's Hannibal series single-handedly changed my appreciation of the horror genre as a whole. Forever in love.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Portrait Sketching - INKTOBER 2019 Prep

Like a bat shivering across the sky, or a headless horseman wielding an axe to the thunder of hooves, October is fast approaching. And it's almost time for Inktober.

Did you know, Inktober is in it's tenth year? It's creator, artist Jake Parker originally undertook the 30-day drawing challenge back in 2009. I think I completed it first in 2016, and I'm pleased to notice my work has improved considerably since then. I like to make sure my illustrations have a dark tone - always, but particularly now. I have followed Mab Graves' Drawlloween prompts in the past, but for Inktober 2019 I'm going my own way. I think I'm going to loosely focus on monsters and villains.

The big secret is, nobody really has time to do one drawing a day. Or at least, I certainly don't. So I'm using September to get ahead, and here I have some sneaky peeks of my sketches.

Every few years I get obsessed with something. Lately, I've become besotted with the romantic comedy horror show that ran from 2013 - 2016, Bryan Fuller's Hannibal. I had strong resistance to horror as a whole genre before I watched this show. But Bryan Fuller's engagement with horror has changed my perspective. (And Mads Mikkelsen's face has changed my life, I'm not even joking.)
Hannibal is nothing without Will Graham. I am 100% in it for Hannigram. Will likes fishing and rescuing stray dogs and has social anxiety and he's kind of a Baby. And his face alone could kill.

inktober 2019 hannibal sketch
I am going to make a zine called "ALL THE TIMES I FAILED MADS FACE" and it's going to be a 300 page collection of all the really bad, horrendous failed attempts I have made trying to get a likeness of my beloved. He is so handsome, but also kind of a freak. Very difficult to render, can confirm.

inktober 2019 hannigram sketch
HANNIBAL/WILL. My ship is canon. #FANNIBALFAMILYFOREVER. Imagine casting these two beaut's and having them appear in front of each other for three years. Bryan Fuller is like a kind of Christ, I adore him and light a candle for him and wish him the very best for the rest of his life.

Henry Spencer and Laura Palmer obviously do not count as monsters or villains, but they definitely sit within the horror genre, and I couldn't touch on it without having some of my favourite Lynch characters in the series.

inktober 2019 lynch sketch
Lynchian weirdos, huzzah! It's only now that I noticed Laura's right eye is too big.  Shout out to pencil for being erasable! You da best.

I'm including all of my favourite vintage monsters. Here's Bela Lugosi as Dracula. There's an amazing podcast I'm obsessed with called You Must Remember This - it's about 'the secret history of Hollywood's first century'. I loved the episode on Mr Lugosi. Click for it HERE.

inktober 2019 vintage dracula sketch
I don't have a favourite Dracula. I even like the one in Hotel Transylvannia. Just give me well dressed Vampires all day, everyday, I am not discerning.

BETTE DAVIS IS QUEEN OF EVERYTHING. If you don't agree we cannot be friends.

inktober 2019 bette david baby jane sketch
I am DELIGHTED by how scary this Baby Jane Bette Davis has turned out. Holy mackeral, I'm getting shudders every time I turn the paper over and remember I drew it.

That's enough spoilers. I'm a little bit scared to do the actual inking bit, not gonna lie. But lo, God did, himself, design a pen and bestow it unto man. And from the vicious nib, a swell of pitchest, blackest, liquid essence did gushingly surge. And Amy Len did take this pen tool of divine intent and lustily she did unto herself consummate a series of markings upon the dried pulp of a glorious tree, and uponst the refined and perfect sheet of virtuous and shining white colour she did make a drawn image upon which you and any person might gaze. Strap in.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Outgoing Snail Mail: UK Penpals Wanted

hand made envelope penpal letter
Outgoing snail mail to a UK Penpal.
I always wanted penpals when I was a child. I used to send elaborate letters to my friends, but I don't think they appreciated them. Or if they did, they couldn't possibly match my enthusiasm. When I was younger I was too anxious to reach out and make contact with random people on the internet and give them my address. I think I might have started World War 3 if my parents had seen a letter from a stranger land on the doormat. But I'm not little anymore! I've been enjoying journaling and planning, and following this path through the interwebs has lead me to the penpalling community! What could be more exciting then aesthetically pleasing notes sent to your IG mutuals? To a nerd like me, not much.

penpal supplies stationary addict but make it weird
Assembling supplies and inspirational artefacts

I'm learning more and more how pleasing aesthetics nourish me. I don't use all the supplies, but as a stationary addict, I like to be surrounded and immersed in ink and paper and shiny things.

a pen pal package
These are cuttings  and petals from my garden

I snipped some strawberry leaves, a fever few flower, some lavender, rosemary, a bloom from a head of hydrangea and some sweet pea petals. I parcelled them up. They're like a spell or a wish.

pen pal parcel from my garden
Gorgeous petal pink cotton rag paper, magical by default

Sealing wax with my initial
I have had this red sealing wax since I was about 12. I remember buying it on one of my first trips alone to Brighton. There's an amazing stationers on Sydney Street in the North Laines called Pen to Paper. I'm always delighted it's still there when so many of my favourite shops and cafes have ceased to exist. I have almost never had a reason to use it. I always scold myself on hot wax, but I maintain that it's worth it.

Harry Potter aesthetics. I'm a Ravenclaw if you wanted to know, although I do love Slytherin. Naturally I include feathers and stars.

what to send to your penpal
Here's the final letter.
A drawing from a test print of an old zine, a folded star, sprayed gold, a paper letter and a playlist. A good start.

travel safely

And off it goes! I hope it made the post persons day. And Marta's, of course. I'm so excited to work on the next one.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

GIF Making in GIMP

I have always been mesmerised by GIF loops. But then I'm old and I remember the whistling sound of a dial-up connection. GIF's (pronounced "J" - if - FIGHT ME) were a kind of witchcraft for me in the early days of the internet. Fandom members I knew well (on livejournal) had the power to make there own edits of shows, music videos and films I was obsessed with, and reduce them to beautiful second long sequences of awesome beauty. But for some reason, this always felt like something other, clever people could learn how to do, and that I would never get to know the secrets of how they were made.

Then, I watched a 3 minute video on YouTube this morning and now I have come to realise that this was a lie. The internet is still for everyone and it's all fair game. This sulky girl I drew a while ago seemed like a good place to start in my GIF making career. She's shaking her head, and to her everything is a full body cringe. BUT I MADE THAT. I'm a bit nervous as a peer down the rabbit hole I'm about to tumble down. The very limited social life I currently maintain is about to die. But look at the shiny moving thing!