Man, Season 13 is figuratively kicking my butt!
It feels like only yesterday that I posted my artwork “The Graduation”, and now I already finished my next drawing for Season 13 Episode 17.
As usual, before I start talking about how this piece came to be, let me start off by showing you my artwork!
Under Jolly Roger
I was out of town for a work trip to Berlin, our wonderful capital, when I received my work assignment, so I had the pleasure of reading this week’s awesome stories while sitting in an uncomfortable seat, waiting for my plane.
“Dinosaur Bones”, by author Robert Jackson, immediately caught my eye. The story revolves around a teacher paying a visit to a father whose child brought an actual, honest-to-god dinosaur bone to show and tell.
Further mysteries in the story, which I won’t spoil here, include a not-quite-ordinary plastic shovel. And this is what made the idea for the illustration pop up in my head! I was going to go for a skull and crossbones type illustration, as you can often see on the ships of Hollywood pirates (otherwise known as Jolly Roger).
While the story itself
sadly features no pirates, I decided the iconography is iconic enough to stand on its own. All that was left to do for my sketch was replace one of the bones with a plastic shovel, and voilà! An idea was born.
Digging for references — get it?
The first step, as usual, was digging for references! For paintings to stand out as believable, a good reference to work off is paramount.
First of all, I reached into my toolbox and pulled out the fantastic Skull Sketcher!
This free tool lets you pose a realistic rendering of a human skull, adjust the lighting, and export the result as a high-res JPEG! Since I discovered it, Skull Sketcher is a very standard tool in my repertoire.
I found the reference for the dinosaur bone on the website of a British museum. Let me just say, museum curators are doing god’s work. High resolution reference images in good lighting…an artist’s dream!
Lastly, the reference image for the plastic shovel was a quick web search. Believe me, there are tons of images of children’s toys!
Crafting a sigil
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
When I was done with the painting, I ran into the problem that the space of the skull’s forehead looked a bit…empty. Nothing quite like a glowing magic sigil to spice up an illustration for a supernatural story!
To create a sigil that looked like more than random scribbles, I followed along this wonderful article: Sigils and Seals.
As a goal statement, I chose “My Goal — Return To Life”. After I followed along to the article, I had a shortened goal statement (MYWUNOF!) and a sigil I was very happy with!
After drawing it on the skull, at that was left to do is add some soil texture to the background for contrast and add the glowing blue halo to give the image that last visual pop I think it needed.
“Dinosaur Bones” was a blast to draw, and I really hope you check out the story. I enjoyed it a lot.
Until next time, my lovelies,