Halloween is an interesting tradition. Fun and morbidity all rolled into one celebration!
I recently painted some quick decorations for a birthday party, consisting of imaginative vegetable and fruit characters and vibrant fish. They were received very well for their loose, cartoonish and stylized nature. So when some close friends said they would be throwing a Halloween costume party and needed some decorations, I knew I could help.
I decided to pick up some cheap paints, a butcher block of paper, and spent an hour painting some fun and scary Halloween decorations. The guidelines for the Halloween party decorations were to stick with a blue and green theme with spatters of red. I was also given permission to push the paintings a little further into the horrific realm.
Presented below are the scary Halloween paintings and decorations. Each is roughly 18″x24″, and can be easily taped to a wall or ceiling, or wherever you want to decorate for a party. They consist of, in order, a Pumpkin, Severed Head, Demon Dog, Demon Skull, Spider, Demon Bat, Severed Hand, and Snake.
For more scary drawings visit Macabre Series 1 – Blood, Skulls, and Paranoia or the Monster in My Closet.
This is a painting of a cow amidst a green field and a fiery red background. The canvas is approximately 16″x20″ and the entire artwork was painted with Acrylic paints. The billowing and vibrant background contrasts interestingly with the energetic cow and grassy field in the foreground. Splashes of yellow paint add the impression of flowers and help pull the yellow areas of the background into the foreground. This particular breed of cow is known as a Holstein cow, which is commonly raised for dairy production. Mooooo!
This is a drawing of a horse with other horses galloping. The 3″x5″ drawing was sketched with markers, pens, and paint pens. Multiple layers of deep red, orange, and yellow colors were used to build up the background. Black pen was used to draw the horses galloping, and water was used to blend the ink and add shadows and subtle blurring. The horizontal background line work combined with a quick and loose foreground sketching style help create a sense of speed and movement.
Visit the Animal Art Gallery for more drawings of animals.
This is an abstract portrait painting of an Art Goddess. The artwork is 9″x12″ and was created with pens, watercolor, paint pens, and markers. Multiple layers of medium were energetically and organically built up to create an abstract female face, with broad strokes of watercolor and detailed pen lines used to push and pull the space. The essence of creativity is playfully depicted as an Art Goddess, with the face as an almost universally recognizable lead in to the visual art.
As I’ve grown into art, I realized that I have developed a deliberate way of expressing myself visually. Perhaps the same way that some have a deeper understanding of other tools for expression and communication, like math, language, or music. I feel a deep appreciation for those other creative processes, even though I don’t understand the intricacies of them, I know there are areas of overlap and mutual insight. So I added a few subtle reminders of other tools that enrich and nurture visual art.
I also wondered, if more people were taught to convey emotions or concepts via color and shape more consistently, what new ways of thinking about the world would we discover? What unknown creativity awaits behind the Goddess’ eyes? And what flashes behind yours?
This artwork is both a drawing and a painting of a Leopard that is approximately 9″x7″. Mediums used are brightly colored pencils, pens, markers, watercolor, and a silver paint pen. A few light sketch marks were initially drawn in for reference, and then varying combinations of mixed media were applied in layers. Eventually the shape of the leopard started to solidify amidst the energetic lines, and the silver paint added a reflective quality that is not apparent in the digital reproduction of the drawing/painting. Similarly to the way a leopard can blend in to the jungle environment, the animal’s form is not immediately recognizable in the artwork as it blends in with the chaotic colors and busy line work.
More animal drawings and paintings can be found in the Animal Portrait Art Gallery.
These two artworks depicting lions blur the line between drawings and paintings. Each artwork started as a drawing of a lion, which was then augmented with watercolors, ink, or paint pens. The first lion drawing was sketched with a pen and thick black markers. A wash of watercolor and ink was used to add shadows and blend the crisp lines, resulting in a statuesque portrait of the lion.
The second lion drawing was initially sketched with pen in an impressionistic style, and layers of paint pens were subsequently added over the initial sketch. The resulting painting of a roaring lion fits the energetic style, and the discord between the primary colors add tension between the lion and the background.
Just a few samples of other unique stylistic approaches to lion drawings and paintings include these lion drawings, a portrait of a lion drawn with charcoal, an abstract lion painted with markers and paint pens, close up charcoal drawings of roaring lions, and a digitally drawn cartoon lion.
This is an expressionistic painting of a walrus, using acrylic paint. Thick layers of black and red paint were pushed and smeared around the paper to create the abstract and expressionistic shapes and textures of the walrus. The paint was scraped off and rubbed on, and parts of the paper are untouched by paint to enhance the glowing white background. This acrylic painting was created in the year 1998.
This is an original drawing / painting of a hippopotamus, or “hippo” for short. It’s a mix between a drawing and a painting, because parts of the hippo are drawn with pen and markers, and other parts are painted with paint pens and watercolor. Thin blue pen lines were used to sketch the initial drawing of the hippo, and other layers of marker and ink were applied after that. Washes of plain water and muted watercolors were then painted over the marker, which adds subtle gradients and shadows to the painting. Some of the lines were blurred, but a second layer of markers was then used to sharpen the drawing back into focus. Stark contrast between the bold black lines and pale colors adds tension to the drawing. Lastly, silver and white paint pens were used to add highlights, and shimmering specs of paint help to lead the eye of the viewer around the hippo. Unfortunately the effect does not translate well to digital reproductions of the drawing / painting.
These four drawings of lions were created with charcoal in 2002. Each lion is roaring fiercely, in a depiction of their natural inclination to hunt and strike for food. They represent a struggle for survival through raw power, not to be confused with perhaps the more anthropomorphizing emotions of anger or rage. That is the symbolism intended for each piece of art.
To see more lions in a variety of artistic styles, view the Animal Drawings and Paintings art gallery, or more drawings of lions and lions drawn with pen and paint pens in the Art Blog.
Each lion drawing was uniquely constructed, starting with thick black lines of dark charcoal. Layers of white chalk and pastel colors were endlessly drawn over one another to create textures and the energetic patterns of their tussled manes. Heavy black charcoal was used around the eyes to draw focus, and the mouth has contrasting stark teeth with a dark interior to help them stand out. Color palettes consist of warm and cool colors, or harmonious and contrasting palettes. But each mix of colors adds something unique to each drawing amidst the similar compositions of the lion’s face.
This bald eagle watercolor drawing / painting was created in 1998 with a mix of watercolors and salt. The eagle was drawn in first with some light pencil marks. Then various washes of brown and yellow colors were dabbed in to create feathers, eyes, and the beak. For the sunlit background, a wash of water was first applied to the canvas. Color was then added to the page in concentric circles around a large puddle of yellow, and the water blurred and blended the colors together. While the paint was still wet, salt was thrown on the background, which gives the painting texture and a unique crystallized look. This helps to separate the background from the painting of the eagle.
This is a watercolor painting of a lizard, also known as an “Anole”. The little lizard was sitting on the patio in 1997, so I grabbed some watercolors and quickly painted in some basic shapes. Sometimes they act like Chameleons, because their skin changes color to reflect the colors in their environment. This one took on the grays and browns from the cement, however I took some artistic liberty in adding a few abstract splashes of color to represent the leaves and water around the lizard. This also helps set the lizard apart from the background. White highlights in the painting, around the lizards face, were created by leaving sections of the white paper untouched by the watercolor.
This watercolor painting of two bunnies was painted in 2003. The bunnies were initially sketched in pen, and then shades of watercolor paint were added later. The pen sketch was very loose, and each bunny was painted with minimal, muted color. This helps to reinforce the fragility and timid nature of the bunnies, and creates a sense that they need each other to stay strong and warm in their world. Their expressions also give insight to their character.
This artwork is a Pen, Ink, and Marker drawing of an Alaskan Husky dog. It was drawn in 2004, with varying shades of grey markers. Midtones were sketched in to define the shape and form. Dark colored markers were used to fill in the shadows. And the white of the paper or white paint was used to add highlights and furry hair. The drawing is only 4″ x 6″ and was commissioned for the owner of the dog, which was their favorite Alaskan Husky.