Yesterday I wrote about symbolic drawing — those simple, child-like illustrations we make to represent the things we see. Although learning to draw involves learning to move past these basic line drawings, there’s still a time and place for them. One of those times is Halloween — which is coming up — and one of those places is right here in my art studio, as well as here on the blog.
Earlier I was sorting through old drawings and paintings and came across a few of the silhouette drawings I usually make for Halloween. Those are always simple images — simple enough that even our young grandsons can create their own spooky silhouettes. You can see last year’s Halloween illustrations here.
I’m planning to do a few more tree monsters such as the one I inadvertently created when I was drawing tree branches, and I’ll probably be making a variety of other monsters. For some reason, the Halloween holiday just seems to lend itself to things that are both spooky and silly. At least that’s how it is around our house.
In keeping with the “Spooky and Silly” theme, I participated in a free online Halloween art class hosted by Michael’s. It was led by “Mommy Lhey” who showed us how easy it is to draw Halloween objects. In my drawing I combined pumpkins, candy, a horned monster, a cauldron, a broom, a tombstone, and a few bones
I had fun seeing how even the simplest shapes can be transformed into truly “fun art” with a little imagination and a bit of color. After quickly drawing the various objects for my Halloween picture, the illustration was first colored with watercolor pencils. Later we used a brush-tipped pen to complete the line art. My watercolor pencils don’t produce the rich, vibrant colors I wanted for the shadow areas, so this morning I got out my gansai and added more color. I also put in a bit of a “cloudy” background. I was hesitant, but my new attitude is “Hey, go for it!” I plan to make more Halloween drawings, so even if I ruined this one… oh, well. I could just do another. But seriously, how can you ruin a simple little drawing like this? You really can’t.
So, here’s the first of what will probably be many “Spooky and Silly” Halloween drawings.
What’s most fun is that there are so many, many possible ideas for Halloween-themed art. Besides the ones I’ve mentioned already, how about those haunted houses, full moons, black cats, witches, and bats? And how about adding a few words here and there? Oh, so many possibilities.
And as simple as this sort of drawing is, there’s still much to be learned from doing an illustration like this. It’s always good to practice putting together good compositions, thinking of art and design ideas such as balance and rhythm. Choosing colors is fun, too. All in all, the online class was a genuine Halloween treat for me.
Now, I can’t wait for the grandsons to come to the studio so we can make more Halloween art together. And maybe I’ll cook up a spooky treat of some sort. I’m thinking maybe “Monster Donuts” will be perfect!
Yeah, I love Halloween. And sometimes I love making simple, fun little drawings. Not everything we create has to be “fine” art. When it comes to holidays and sharing with grandkids, simple art can really be the “finest” art of all, don’t you think?