I’ve been on a drawing streak lately, mainly painting pieces as gifts for friends. Most recently I owed a painting to my friend and host of horror anthology Fear Haus, Blair Bathory. knowing that Blair wears a lot of black and is into dark and macabre stuff I decided to keep things pretty dark and ominous. I was having trouble deciding what to paint, I could have painted a monster, but decided to do something more bold and in a American Traditional tattoo style. 

Traditional tattoo coffin skull

The first thing that came to mind was a coffin with flowers. I sketched the idea out with red pencil on tracing paper, then began filling in little details. Once I was happy with the overall sketch I went over the red pencil with permanent marker. I typically use the tracing paper as a stencil, similar to how tattoo artists make stencils. I also do this to save sketches I like to reproduce either for Sleep Terror designs or just personal pieces. Whenever I paint something for a friend or family member, I find myself having separation anxiety. Basically, I have a hard time letting go of my artwork. The tracing paper not only helps me with working out the composition of a project, but when gifting artwork it gives me piece of mind, know that I still have the blueprints.

Coffin Skull Detail IMG_4522 copy

Once the stencil is complete, I lay a piece of fine art paper on top of it and retrace the lines. Once that is complete I will begin to plan out the areas for shading. For the Coffin Skull painting I had contemplated doing a stippling style shading, but thought spit shading would really add a darker vibe.

Coffin Skull Final