Skull 45

The forty-fifth skull!

Skull 45

Skull 45 – 12×16″

This one is pretty obviously (to me, at least) zombie-inspired!  I’m not a big fan of zombies, as I may have mentioned before, but they are fun to paint!!!

I’ve been watching a lot of Mark Carder on Youtube, and while he speaks mostly about realistic oil painting and so far most of these skulls are not (though they have some realistic elements), I’m quite interested in the tips and tricks and techniques that he espouses.  I recently watched the video “Number One Mistake Artists Make When Painting in Oil” – which ended up being basically pay attention to “which is more subtle – the painting, or the real thing” and fix your painting accordingly.  Artists (and plenty of other people) do tend to accentuate shadows or bright areas, which can definitely look cool, but can make it look less realistic.  I’ve definitely been guilty of that!

I had a few references for this painting – the real skull next to me, a few sketches based on some real skulls and some random ideas – so I wasn’t “painting realism”  but I did have some realistic parts to it.  During this painting, I tried to pay attention to which of my sources I was using at the time and “which was more subtle.”  Was that shadow really that dark?  Was that bright area really supposed to pop out?  Is that area more blended or more sharp?  Giving that much attention really made the details very interesting, and it made me pay attention to where I break those rules (for realism) and where I like to stick to them.  Obviously this painting is more surreal and fantastical, but I wanted it to look a bit like it *could* exist.  It was an interesting experiment, and I should definitely pay more attention to this in the future, even when I’m not painting realistic paintings.

Also, my apologies for the speckles in the picture and the video quality – this IS a very dark painting and I did my best to capture what it actually looks like, but I had a hard time making it easy to see.  And perhaps I did make the painting a little too dark overall; it really depends on the light source.


Music: “Run” by Kai Engel is licensed under a Attribution License.


Spooky Film: Today’s spooky film of the day is “The Thing.”  An amusing little story about this is that this is one of the few films with aliens that one of my friends can watch, because she hates aliens.  But since you don’t see an “alien” but basically a shapeshifter which can take on human/ animal/ creepy hybrid forms,  she was totally okay with it.  I always thought that was funny, because things that seem more real or likely to happen (humans more “real” to me than “alien” or “monster”) are way more scary to me than things that (at least at the moment) are fantastical… for the most part. 😉

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