Skull 09

The ninth skull!

Skull 09 – 10×10″

Skull 09

This skull was a little scary for me, and not so much because of the design as the colors!  Getting those bright reds and oranges and yellows to mesh well has always been difficult for me.  I suspect that there are still quite a few things I need to learn about using these colors well, without making them muddy and still allowing the bright colors to shine.  Despite my fear of these colors, though, I think I managed to pull off a good spooky skull.  I wanted to repeat something I tried a tiny bit of in the painting of Skull 03 and Skull 07, which was the weird spiky mouth-merging weirdness.  Something like stalactites and stalagmites in a cave, but also something like the scene in the first “Matrix” movie where Neo’s mouth is magically being closed up and he’s trying to open it/ stop it/ scream – I think if I had been younger when I saw that scene, I would have been freaked out a little, but since I was a teenager, that fascinated me instead.  I also wanted to make the eyes more “evil” (skulls tend to look “sad” because the eye sockets are tilted the opposite direction of “angry eyebrows”) as well as try to get a “fire” aspect to this one.  I thought bright colors associated with fire would be good to pair with a scarier skull, so even though I don’t tend to fare so well with those colors, I think I came up with a pretty good result.  If anyone has any tips or pointers to working with bright reds/ oranges/ yellows (particularly blending without muddying the colors or looking too much like a stark contrast against each other), I’d love to hear them!



Music: “Morning City” by Sergey Cheremisinov is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.


Spooky Film: Today’s spooky film of the day is “The Matrix.”  Not a horror/ spooky movie, you say?  Well, let me count the ways… (1) Body horror – the scene mentioned above is just a small creepy thing and we find that it’s not “exactly” real… but that’s one of a few creepy body horror events that happen.  Another scene, the one with the “bug,” literally scared my sister enough that hated the movie for a long time.  Again, that was the sort of thing that I thought was weird and neat, and even though it didn’t “scare” me, I’d count that as a pretty horrific thing to happen to someone.  Even the entire scene with waking up in the “real world” could be more body horror.  No, it’s not jump-scare horror, but it’s gross enough to scare a lot of people.  (2) When the movie shows the differences between the “real world” and the “dream” that most people live in, the “dream” world becomes very like a haunted house – more and more the characters are in dilapidated buildings, trying to manipulate their way through rooms where something may pop out and get them.  There’s even a black cat in a spooky house!  (3) Existential horror.  What are we?  What is our world?  What if it IS all a dream?  What if we’re simply tools?  I could go on, but I think that’s the winner right there.  Sure, it might not be spooky to a lot of people (I wasn’t scared by it), but I think it still has a firm spot in horror.  Sci-fi, cyberpunk, and horror.

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