Skull 02

The second skull!

Skull 02 – 12×16″

Skull 02

Have you ever heard the phrase “draw like a painter”? How about “paint like a sculptor”? I think it’s important to stick to one genre mostly, but when you occasionally try other genres, sometimes you can go back to your own with fresh eyes and a new perspective or new ideas. I remember when I heard “paint like a sculptor” that it just clicked for me. When you try to paint 3D objects in a 2D space, it can be hard to wrap your head around how to create the shape – sometimes we create obvious 2D objects and then just shade them so they appear 3D… which is certainly a valid way to go about it as well. However, if you think of painting like carving or sculpting, and your paintbrushes as rasps and rifflers and other carving tools, you can make it feel 3D as you go with the direction and subtle variation of color in each stroke. Like carving, make large brushstrokes first to “carve” out the general areas and then once the overall shape is there, use smaller brushes to define areas, or smooth some areas out so it doesn’t look as boxy. You don’t just need to carve, either, you can also build up, by “adding more clay” – or in this case, paint. I recently found a video by an artist that explains and shows this probably much better than I could – take a look at this video if you’re interested in what I’m talking about and/or I don’t make sense. 😉

So for this skull painting, I tried to think like a sculptor. I put in a plain background and thought of “carving” the skull out of that background, trying to think in 3D space, not just using shadows after painting a 2D object. Then I could “add clay” (paint) to areas that were too thin. I could carve and I could build, but I constantly tried to imagine it in 3D space. I had some of the same idea in the first skull painting, but I really tried to focus on this concept in this skull painting. Again, it’s not perfect, but I like that I had a very good starting point very early on in the process – usually it doesn’t feel like it’s coming together until much later. Because of this, I felt more confident in continuing to carve and build until I had the look I was going for. I really like how this one came together, and I’m excited to try this in other paintings too.


Music for Video: “Flying Free” by Jingle Punks


Spooky Film: Today’s spooky film of the day is “Devil.”  To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Shyamalan movies, and I’m glad I didn’t know beforehand that this was one of his, because I might have avoided it longer (I probably still would have watched it eventually, because I’m always looking for spooky movies!).  When I did first see this, though, I really enjoyed the aspect of it feeling like a 1-room “play” where you learn more about the characters as the movie progresses plus you get some spooks along the way.  It’s not in my top ten list by any means, but it was an enjoyable horror movie and the typical Shyamalan “twist” actually seemed appropriate.


Leave a Reply