Good news to all those out there who don’t like Halloween or art or Halloween art or just my particular Halloween art in general…. You don’t have to ignore these any more because today is the last day of Drawlloween 2016 in Inktober!!
Day 30 is: SKULLS AND SKELETONS
Day 31 is: TRICK ‘R’ TREAT!
I really couldn’t come up with a good angle for these two, so I just drew whatever and inked it in. It’s a jack-o-lantern with some of what I imaged skulls and skeletons of pumpkins might look like if gourds had endoskeletal structures.
If I decide to do it next year I will be back, if not, you’re welcome.
The go-go dancers implied in this prompt necessitated some early 60s dance moves and surroundings for the spirits.
To complete the crossover in the sketchbook spread, I decided on “cat” as a slang term for a cool dude from the following decade and drew the cat in the finest 70s blaxploitation environment I could mange quickly on a Saturday afternoon. Groovy and Solid!
For the third year (not in a row) I’ve been commissioned to come up with a Halloween themed cover design for the local Asheville alt weekly paper, The Mountain Xpress.
2016 Halloween cover for Mountain Xpress by Brent Brown
This year I was asked to do something with local architectural elements, such as the winged lions (I’ve been told they are notgriffins, as they do not have the head of an eagle, just the body of a lion, with wings, but then again, I’ve read they could be either) at the Grove Arcade building. I toyed with a few ideas and we narrowed it down to just the lion statues at the Grove Arcade.
I thought that was a cool thing to play with, so I looked the historic structure up on Google Street View to get a straight-ahead view of it, then took it into a vector program and made a simple vector-art version of it that I could then distort into an extreme, bug’s-eye view perspective to add some dramatic flair to it. I then used the handy 3-D artist’s model bodies in Manga Studio (now called Clip Studio Paint for some reason) to get the correct perspective and anatomy for the hipster-clown the animated architectural animals would be attacking on All Hallow’s Eve.
The gryphons/lions I had to just create from a reference photo and so their perspective is not as extreme, since I wanted to keep them recognizable in their newly-animated, attack versions and I also had to kind of figure out their perspective on my own.
Then, it was just a matter of drawing the correct details on the reference model, arranging it with the lions I drew, rendering out lighting and shade and details on the Arcade and generally improving the whole composition, while leaving space for the heads and subheads that were to come in later.
The previous covers combined Halloween with the election, since they fell so close to the same time that year. That was fun, but also hard to come up with anything new that hasn’t already been done before since the last day in October and the first Tuesday in November are always in close approximation each year and it’s a visually and satirically temptation to want to somehow link the two. I was glad I didn’t have to do that this year, as I had already used up all my ideas previously.
2013 Halloween cover for Mountain Xpress by Brent Brown
2012 Halloween cover for Mountain Xpress by Brent Brown
I didn’t want to go with Batman for “bat” two years in a row, but I couldn’t help it. He’s so much more interesting to draw than a plain bat. Also, since I had to combine it with “superstitions” on the next page, I found his extensive Rogue’s Gallery provided some ready superstitious opportunities for Bruce to be afraid of: Penguin’s notorious umbrella being opened inside the house! A black-suited Catwoman crossing his path! Both of them apparently about to walk under a ladder! Spilling salt! I forgot to add a broken mirror, but Mirror Master is Flash’s nemesis anyway…
I wasn’t sure what to do for day 20 other than, obviously, the Headless Horseman, so I put it off until I did day 21. I saw “Phantom” and wanted to do the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon of “The Funky Phantom” and looked for a reference. Amazingly, I found a comic book of the cartoon and the cover had the phantom flying away from The Headless Horseman! It was perfect! So I basically copied the thing but made it fit over two pages:
Trying to make the two drawings work together in the sketchbook spread, I wanted to make the shadow on the other page coming from something unexpected on this page. I ended up with a mutating Great Pumpkin on a giant vine that Sally Brown has brought to life though some type of occult spell of which she is capable as she is a witch. All of this is freaking Linus out.
Specific ones like this don’t leave you much room to be different or creative, so I just pick one of the cool images from the F.W. Murnau’s 1920s silent film and tried to emulate it as best I could with just a pen and paper and my eye looking at a reference shot.
It sort of leaves the blank page next it creepier than usual.