Month of Fear: Styx

Happy Halloween! My last submission for Month of Fear: Dance ofMacabre: dance of death. Done with chalk pastel and Photoshop

The meaning emphasizes that in death we are all equal regardless of our social status and former life. This made me think immediately of the Underworld where all souls go in Greek’s mythology. It was said you must place coins on the deceased’s eyes, so they had money to pay the ferryman to cross the river of Styx and enter the Underworld. I really loved the imagery.

It has been a fun ride with this year’s Month of Fear. So many great pieces and new artists discovered. I want to thank Kristina Carroll for starting this great tradition. I really look forward to it next year. Until then, Month of Love is just around the corner!

Month of Fear: The Eyes

My third entry for the Month of Fear. Learn more about this monthly challenge at

What Lies Beneath
There were many ways to run with this. I was interested in deception and what lies beneath the trees. In folklore throughout the centuries, forests have represented a place of wonder and fear. Deogen “De Ogen” or The Eyes is a ghost often seen as a fog form haunting the Sonian Forest, in Belgium.

The challenge with this piece was controlling the values and keeping the viewers eyes moving around the piece.

Next week: The Dance of Death unites us all.

Month of Fear: Sabbath

My second entry for the Month of Fear. Learn more about this monthly challenge at

This weeks word: Sabbath
This topic was a bit overwhelming for me. You can go a million directions with witches and demons and witchcraft and spells and Harry Potter...

In my last piece I was exploring death and I decided to continue that motif with the Salem witch trials. In Reflection there is a victim and in Trial there is a fighter. I really enjoy the comparison of the two. Each piece has a different energy when dealing with the same subject of death and murder.

Anyway, luckily I had some rope from a previous reference shoot and I tied my first ever noose! I love how you can Google anything. I've never done an illustration where the subject is back lit. I felt this value structure would compliment my subject matter and be a good exercise for me.

Below is some of my process work and a close-up shot of this piece.

Above are some of my thumbs. I really liked the top row. I may explore that further for a future piece. I decided on the straight forward comp because I really wanted an intense look and the opportunity to play with bold shapes. Below is a small collection of the inspiration I used.

Month of Fear: Mirrors

I wanted to participate in this year's Month of Fear, which is " a weekly art challenge created by Kristina Carroll for the month of October. It was designed to inspire artists to get together, shake things up,  push themselves  and create a bunch of new personal work. We do another monthly challenge in February called Month of Love."

This week's word was Mirror: Reflection, deception, spirits and secrets.This is darker than most of my current work, but I wanted to step a little further out of my circle and challenge myself with a more serious piece. This one is titled "Reflection". Next week's challenge is:  Sabbath Witches and devils.

These process images are crude and taken with an iphone, but in my defense these were intended for my own personal documentation and not a demo. So here it is: I sketched in my base drawing with nupastels. Next, I went over certain areas with a sponge brush soaked with water. It gives the pastel a "paint" quality and dries with interesting textures that I knew would work great for this concept. I want to stress that this was done on BFK Rives cotton rag paper, so it doesn't buckle. Once dried it was a process of refining my shapes and trying to give it that foggy mirror look, which was an interesting challenge. The solution of using a fogged mirror helped make this story less gruesome and more appealing to a broader audience. ;)