Friday, August 15, 2014

Bit of Halloween

The other day, a fellow artisan asked if I could illustrate a witches hat for a project she was working on.

I'm not sure why she asked as I always NEED projects to stir my creativity and she knows that :)  A new request is sort of like an art prompt to me. All of a sudden, I have to try to create from anothers' idea.

So, I sat down and sketched the hat in a few minutes. Oh my heck, it came out so cute that I new I wanted to do something similar for myself.

My friend's project is still a working piece, but being that I finished my own project just tonight, I thought I might share the process with you here.


It started with a girl, as that is what I love love love to draw. I outlined her and erased the pencil. She was sooooo cute that I couldn't wait to start coloring her.

I use Copics to color my girls. I love them , the end!!!

It's funny how coloring helps you think. At least for me, it does. This little witch was really growing on me and this is when the ideas for this painting evolved. Up until then, I had no idea beyond 'her' what I was going to paint.

Finally, her hair was just the color I wanted and I was VERY ready to paint her into a piece that I had been formulatting while I colored.

So, I added the moon and colored it with Copics. I sketched a tree and then colored a scrap of black and white hounds tooth patterned paper an orange color to match her turtleneck and turned it into her dress.

I painted the tree black and gray with acrylic paint and outlined Bella (yes, I had named her) with yellow and orange Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt Pens. 

This is the point where I couldn't decide what to do. I am not  good with drawing hands, so I knew I either had to put something in front of her or draw them. At first I thought a whimsical kind of Cheshire cat would work, but for some reason I couldn't get a raven out of my head.  I kept trying to think of something else because I can't draw cats or birds very well either. 

Spiders? Black Cats? Whimsical Cat? Ravens? I just didn't know.

Once upon a midnight dreary, 
As I pondered week and weary
Over a many quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
 ... I memorized this Edgar Allen Poe poem when I was a kid.... EVERY verse (many of them since forgotten).

That was it. The Raven it would be. I know, my mind works in mysterious ways!

I painted the background with my favorite watercolors (Grumbacher) and I added a hand. Not too bad, eh?

I added a couple ravens and I knew I was close to finished.  Bella, however, wanted some jewelry.....

So, I gave her a 'spider ring' (witch... I mean... which.... she loves by the way) and painted eyes on the ravens and voila! 

Who would ever have thought that memorizing 'The Raven" as a kid would have been an inspiration for this painting over 45 years later?

I hope you love her as much as I do and I hope I haven't bored you with the process of creating her. 

I haven't decided yet, but Bella may just be available for sale in my Etsy shop on September 13th. 



  1. I love her and your creative process!! You not only an artist.. you are also a story teller!! Lover her!!

    1. Thank you, Tamiko. I know you appreciate my lack of bravery in showing my art (though, I am getting way better at it), so your support means a lot. Writing about the process was even more difficult because I have such a wacky thought process when I'm painting. I tried to 'unwacky' it up so readers could follow's kind of like the clean version of an off-color story...haha

  2. She is just lovely. Halloween is my favorite time of I LOVE her!

    1. Oh my heck, Tiare, thank you for the compliment. It. Means a lot coming from an artist I admire so much. I love Halloween also, just not the cold temps that usually accompany it. I am definitely a climate sissy :)

  3. beautifully done!! Love every detail!

    1. Thanks, Sandee. As one of my mentors, your support is awsome and gives my courage a boost :)

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Nichole... your art as of late is even more phenominal than before (if that is even possible). I think you are becoming more brave, too. Sisters in courage :)

  5. I absolutely LOVE your girls. I so wish I could take lessons from you. This one just Rocks it. The hand you drew is excellent by the way. And the ravens with the almost make me wish for Halloween to get here. But, I am not done with summer yet. LOL You go girl!!!

    1. Donna, as alwys I am flattered when anther artist whom I admire compliments my work. I love drawing these girls , so it puts a smile on my face when I read comments like yours. The hand was difficult for me and I will keep practicing so I wont be limited in future paintings by that lack of ability. You noticed that I only drew one, right???? Lol Thank you so much !