Having drawn a zombie with prominent hands on the opposite page, I wanted to draw a zombie where the hands were a dominant feature. Balance and symmetry. What emerged on the page was this zombie with his hands flailing in front of his face. You might have spotted that one of his fingers is missing its tip.
Now that Drawlloween is over, I can focus my creative energy on completing my Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook submission for this year. I am so close to being finished and it would be great to be done before Thanksgiving. I had absolutely no goal in mind when I started drawing this zombie. However, once she was done, I thought that the position of her hands against her face made her look somehow coy. Maybe that is a trap she is setting for her prey. Lure them in and snap!
The final prompt for Drawlloween – falling yesterday on Halloween – was “Frankenstein”. I cheated, however, and completed this one in advance since I knew my Halloween would be manic.
Since the final three prompts were a celebration of the bicentenary of the publication of the novel, I interpreted the final prompt as being a reference to the text and not to the character of Victor Frankenstein. I, therefore, had complete liberty to illustrate any element of the text but I felt compelled to draw the Creature. Although he is not the protagonist, he is arguably the central character of the novel, the locus of so many of its themes and motifs, and the source of so much of its soul. I swithered about developing my own character but, you know me and how I love to draw movie monsters, so I quickly abandoned that idea and instead drew a version of Boris Karloff’s presentation of the Monster.
So that’s Drawlloween over for this year and I successfully completed the challenge. I managed to produce a drawing every single day of October, even on the days when I was swamped and free time was difficult to find. I think it is obvious which illustrations I spent more time on and which were dashed off but regardless of the outcome I did complete the challenge not only of daily drawing but of working at a larger scale than usual for such challenges and of adding colour. I won’t fib: I am quite relieved it is over and that the pressure to create every day is gone but I am very glad I participated completely and fully because I got a lot out of it creatively and in terms of a sense of accomplishment.
Thanks for following along with me this Drawlloween!
I draw the Bride of Frankenstein frequently. She is one of my favourite movie characters to draw because she is so iconic and so sculptural. Her character design and costuming suits my style of drawing too I think. I very briefly swithered about developing my own character design but, of course, ended up drawing the Elsa Lanchester presentation from the 1935 movie. I usually draw her as the full figure and often in portrait or three-quarter portrait. Therefore, I decided to draw her front on and with a focus just on her head, upper torso, arms, and that amazing hair. I am still not bored of drawing the Bride of Frankenstein.
This year is the bicentenary of the publication of ‘Frankenstein’. When asked what my favourite novel of all time is, I consistently answer ‘Frankenstein’ as I have probably re-read it more times than any other novel and because I also absolutely loved teaching it back in my High School teaching days. Long term followers of either of my blogs will know that characters from Frankenstein the novel ,and the 1931 movie, and its 1935 sequel, crop up regularly in my art journal or other drawings. I was, therefore, pretty chuffed to see that the final three prompts from Mab Graves’ Drawlloween list were all referencing the bicentenary.
First up was the author, Mary Shelley. I was tempted to draw Shelley as portrayed by Elsa Lanchester in ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’. However, I decided to attempt something closer to an actual portrait, my second author portrait in a row given I had just drawn Edgar Allan Poe. I used the portrait of Shelley by Richard Rothwell for reference and used the long, slim nose and the large eyes beneath shaded lids in particular. I have always been so impressed that Shelley embarked on writing such an incredible work of literature when still in her teens – and living quite a tumultuous and tragic life – so I wanted to illustrate her in the act of writing. That then led me to think about her creative spark and then spark made me think of the spark of life that reanimated a corpse and the idea of man playing god and all these ideas collided so that, in no time at all, I had my composition.
Faced with the prompt “Raven”, there was really no possibility I would illustrate anything other than Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem. I am a fan of Poe’s writing and, since emigrating to America, have visited two of his houses, in Baltimore and Philadelphia, and his grave. I drew Ligeia in my art journal a few months ago and have illustrated other Poe stories and poems in the past. However, while my initial thinking was to illustrate the poem ‘The Raven’, it just wasn’t getting my creative cogs going. Instead, I decided to make an attempt at a portrait of Poe. I don’t think I have drawn him since my mid-teens, when I sketched him inside a copy of his collected short stories, and I am not a portraitist by any stretch, but I thought it would be a fun challenge. As for the raven, well, I think it just as well that it became only a minor element in the illustration since it looks more like a demented gull than a sleek raven. Turns out I might be better at portraits than I am at drawing birds.
You might recall that I was tempted to draw the Creature from the Black Lagoon in response to an earlier prompt. However, I drew the amphibious merman creature from ‘The Shape of Water’ and saved the Creature from the Black Lagoon for the prompt “swamp thing”. I know a lagoon and a swamp are not the same thing in terms of bodies of water but a bit of finagling permitted me to draw two fantastic movie monsters instead of just one. The character design for the Creature is just superb. I love that he is a bit amphibious, a wee bit reptilian, and even slightly crustacean with those overlapping plates on his torso. There is also something endearing about those big orb eyes and the downturned mouth. I have illustrated the Creature (I think officially called the Gill-Man) many times, including in a vintage swim suit and in skimpy speedos. This time I decided to draw him in board shorts and standing beside a surfboard. I made a mess of the shorts by adding a layer before a previous layer had fully dried and making it go a bit smudgy and muddy as a result. My limp excuse for trying to cut corners is that I have been felled by a really rotten sinus cold. However, I otherwise rather like this illustration.