I love Halloween; it’s one of the few celebrations in the year that don’t fill me with deep sadness and cause emotional distraught. And, of course, when it comes to me, cute and whimsical, smiley and pretty is my preferred style of illustration.
I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this design earlier today. My whimsical heart was filled with joy as I just a few of my favourite things. I’m sure there’s a song there…
“Hats upon skull-ies and batwings on potions, mushrooms on bottles and bright orange pumpkins, Some stripy tentacles with round eyeballs, These are a few of my favourite things.”
Well, it doesn’t rhyme, but it’s a start!
So whatever you are doing today, however you are celebrating, or not, I wish you the very best!
I absolutely love Halloween; it’s the only yearly celebration that isn’t filled with triggers for emotional upsets. If I could change the date of my birthday, it would be Halloween! It’s not the horror-filled aspects that grab me, it’s the fun and laughter I associate with this time of year.
I love creating whimsical art all year round, but changing the scary for cute is a lot of fun at Halloween. It makes me smile and fills my heart with joy. As far as I’m concerned, skulls and pumpkins, ravens and potions, ghosts and ghoulies and all the other wonderful things associated with Halloween are not just for Halloween!
It’s a new month. Inktober is behind me, so today I start a new series of explorations of motifs, patterns and tangles.
To begin, I decided to start a new A5 sketchbook. The pages are coloured and patterned with Distress Inks and stencils. I do like a coloured background to work on. White is so stark, clinical, austere, even cold, and often intimidating. A coloured page feels so warm and inviting. Drawings instantly feel they have some life in them.
That’s not to say I always draw on coloured paper, as I often do draw on white, especially if I’m planning to add colour digitally.
The very first motif/pattern I chose is one I’ve used a fair number of times in the past. I don’t know where the original inspiration for it came from. Maybe scientific botanical illustration or microscopic images, or maybe something else. I like the shapes and the possibilities that they present.
I’m not aiming to fill and complete one page a day; that would be too much given my contractual obligations for Adorable Dogs. That also takes some of the pressure to complete artwork every day that I feel with challenges like Inktober. Instead, I can do as much or as little as I like in a day. Video or not. All depending on time and inclination.
Today, I drew and vlogged.
The Last Hallowe’en Drawing of 2021
I spent much of a sleepless Saturday night, as well as most of Sunday afternoon, drawing this hallowe’en artwork. The original is a black and white pen drawing, but I added colour to the lines digitally. I’d run out of time to actually colour the drawing in.
There are bits inspired by A Nightmare Before Christmas. I had to turn some Trelina tangle patterns into oogie-boogie men!
There are places that I wish I’d added shading with lines to add the illusion of shadow. However, I can always return to this drawing when I need something relatively simple to do.
Yesterday, I set up a poll in the group so members could vote on options or make suggestions for this week’s template. As you can see, a mandala with a hallowe’en theme, including cats and spider webs, is the result. Of course, there’s some drunken skulls – no party hats this week!
As I created this digitally, I didn’t film the process. I do have, however, a short vlog where I show the uncoloured template and a couple of other pieces of art and waffle on a bit!
As October has progressed, my weekly coloring templates (or coloring pages if you prefer!) have grown increasingly spooky. All in a cute and whimsical way, of course! It is now only 10 days away from Hallowe’en after all!
I’m particularly fond of my potion bottles and the drunken party skulls. Colour really does bring the line drawing to life.
I fell quite ill yesterday afternoon, digestive issues once again. I’m feeling better this morning, but still a goodly way from being ticketty boo.
I’ve yet to sort out my sketchbook page for today’s tangle pattern for Inktober Tangles 2021. I’ll do that once I’ve finished the social media stuff and had a mug of tea.
My favourite day of the year in my favourite season. I shall be observing it in my own way later on.
However you celebrate this day, as usual or changed as a result of the pandemic, have fun, be safe and be well and may your ancestors watch safely over you all.
It was an All Hallows’ Eve tradition in the UK to lay out places at the dinner table for those who had passed away during the previous 12 months as their one last meal before they finally go to the world of spirit, heaven, or whatever else you may call it. It was this night as it was believed that the veil ‘twixt the living and the dead was at its thinnest and loved ones could return to spend time here on Earth with their families.
This year, sadly, too many have done so as a result Covid-19, which has swept around the world taking far too many needlessly. While we no longer lay places for those who have passed, we can take time to honour their memory, their presence in our lives, how important they were and continue to be to us.
I actually finished colouring in one of my templates for this day. It has turned out both dark and colourful, and cutely spooky. While colouring today, I have been listening to a Hallowe’en playlist on Spotify.
A fun, quirky, cute Hallowe’en themed mandala was what was needed on Monday morning.
I started with the skull, without any clue as to what I was going to do with it. Then I thought about adding a mandala around it, and I wanted it in eerie, almost glowing colours.
As I drew the skull without any outlines, I thought I’d do the same for the rest of the mandala. I also kept a pretty simple colour palette – violets, teals and blues.
It’s worked out OK. It certainly is a bit different. The most important thing is that I enjoyed drawing it, and that is most probably the most important thing of all.
Sunshine and mood
Today, there’s some sunshine and that helps to keep my mood up. I did feel a bit better yesterday – sleep and Star Wars really helped! I may have felt better, but settling to art just didn’t happen yesterday.
I’m still so tired. I think it’s all to do with some anxiety at this time. There’s nothing specific for it, just general anxiety. I think it was triggered by my boiler breakdown and then the engineer fixing it, and the increasing cases of Covid combined with a national lockdown in Wales.
I’m not sure I can drive less than a mile to the cemetery I like to walk around. I feel safe there in a way I don’t walking around the streets and town I live in at this time.
Of course, worrying about whether I’ll be breaking the rules to take a walk adds to my anxiety.
What a pickle!
It may be that I baulk and just stay home, and check the rules carefully before I do venture forth for a walk.
Knitting pumpkins while watching Star Wars. Guaranteed to reduce my anxiety. And knitting, unlike crochet, is something I can do without having to look at my fingers.
Also, I’ve found it really relaxing and the feel of the knitted fabric in my fingers is soothing and pleasurable. As I’ve been kintting in stocking stitch, it’s a very smooth fabric. Crochet tends to have more texture to it. I think I’ll be doing more knitting and less crochet for a while.
Today I’m feeling a tad ‘meh’ to say the least. I’m tired despite sleeping plenty last night and yesterday. The weather is gloomy – leaden grey skies and rain. At least the autumn colours are glowing a little in the gloom.
So, today I just needed some arty fun. Nothing too big and overwhelming, something with a little whimsy, and no pressure for anything other than making art for art’s sake.
Hallowe’en is my favourite festival, so that’s where I started, along with pen and paper.
The drawing isn’t all that big – 8cm x 10 cm approx (3.25″ x 4″),s o it was relatively quick to complete. I scanned it in to tidy it up, but decided to add a spooky border around it, which I did digitally.
Then, I set to colouring the image, in Hallowe’en colours, mostly.
I played with texture brushes and how I can work with colour. I’m pleased to get some areas that seem to glow eerily. My brain won’t let me fully process that or go back to the image to add this effect to other design elements.
It was, after all, a few hours of fun, arting for art’s sake, and to do what I can to lift my mood.
I spent sometime yesterday afternoon playing with polymer clay. The Sculpey clay I purchased is soft enough to work with almost straight out of the packet, which is a good thing.
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to work with it. What I thought would work just didn’t for me. So, I’m going to let the ideas rumble around my subconscious and come up with how I could work with the clay my way.
I was disappointed with myself, but worked hard be easy on myself as this is a new skill to learn and develop. It won’t happen overnight. Also, there’s no rush or panic to get it done either.
In the meantime, I’m wrangling with myself as to whether I should invest in a pasta machine to roll out the clay or whether that’s a decision that can wait until I work out if polymer clay is for me or not.