April 18, 2013

It Looks Like A Skull

I’ve been looking for a skull painting or anything with a skull on it (preferably a large jewelry box) for quite some time now but the only thing close to such a find was a couple of poorly printed Vincent Van Gogh posters which were too large for my walls to begin with; and also shockingly expensive, considering the awful pixelated quality of the prints. So, I decided to try to paint one myself (a skull, not a Van Gogh).

I used a simple black and white (almost lithographic) line illustration of a skull as a guide which was not a very smart idea because that meant I had to basically imagine how all the shading and colour tones would be if the skull was actually real. However, and to my surprise, it went well. It’s not perfect and, to be honest it looks more like a zombie (about to have a stroke) than a skull, but I like it nonetheless.

I thought about rendering it (blame it on the Photoshop, kids) a little bit – especially round the chin – and also darken the left eye socket and, of course continue the rest of the teeth line which, for some strange reason I left unfinished (he looks like he’s about to spit tobacco or whistle), but in the end I decided I liked its flaws. So, I framed it instead. Next time I’ll be more proficient. I promise.

April 7, 2013

To The Days That Never Came

This one's for Saturday(s).

"In A Manner Of Speaking", Martin L. Gore ("Counterfeit e.p.", 1989). The original version was written by Tuxedomoon.

April 4, 2013

Death And The Lady

Young woman meets Death; offers him rich gifts if he will grant her more time in this world - in some versions, she wishes to mend her ways after a life of wickedness. He refuses. She dies.

The Dance of Death (conversations between Death and his protesting victims) was a popular theme throughout the 14th and 15th centuries; and again in the 18th century.

"In the Middle Ages, the Dance of Death and dialogues between Death and his victims used to be enacted as a stage morality. Later, the theme was taken up by artists as great as Holbein and as humble as the chapbook illustrators. Miss Anne Gilchrist has noted (Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol.IV, pp.37-8) that "in English balladry the favourite aspect of the subject was Death in its relation to radiant beauty and lusty and careless youth." The ballad, perhaps of late 16th. century origin, was originally in dialogue-form and it may well have been at once sung and acted. Traditional versions have been noted from Devon (Songs of the West, Sabine Baring Gould & others, 1905, pp.202-3), Somerset (Folk Songs from Somerset, Cecil Sharp 1904-9, vol.IV p.4), Wiltshire (Folk Songs of the Upper Thames, Alfred Williams, 1923, p.173) and Sussex (English Traditional Songs and Carols, Lucy Broadwood, 1908, p.40)." - From the notes to the Penguin Book (1959)

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