I shared a little peek into this piece sometime earlier this year, but with the project now on full swing on Kickstarter I can announce that this drawing will be part of the CODEX Obscurus Artbook. This is a project by Spiridon Giannakis with cover and Tarot deck design by Viktor Pushkarev, and is a collaboration with an incredibly talented lineup of 145 artists and their unique take on witches & warlocks, witchcraft, the occult and various folklore. As a bonus, I along with several others will be putting forth our original artwork (The Ritual in my case) for purchase in this campaign. If you are interested acquiring an artwork please head over to the Kickstarter page for all the info.
The campaign runs until the end of the month & there are just a few more stretch goals to go! If you would like to back this project please head over to pledge.
Limited Edition Prints & Campaign Bundles
There will also be a limited edition run of these amazing hand-made prints by Viktor. Here’s just a little peek at his process, but you can find more behind-the-scenes on the Codex Kickstarter page as well as on Viktor’s Instagram. Depending on the pledge, there will also be different extras from other artists in this campaign from high quality Prints, Postcards, Posters & Bookmarks; with the potential of even more bonuses with the unlocking of stretch goals.
The Ritual: a look into the process
For this project I decided to go with a full graphite piece. I wanted a break from painting with watercolour last year and although I hadn’t touched graphite in while, I felt confident again after laying down the foundation and just having at it. It also helped that I was excited to create something that was very much in line, thematically, to my own work.
I knew I’d be working with a lot of blending and powdered graphite ‘washes’, so I started by taping off the borders for a clean look for the finished product. Once the prelim sketch had been transferred onto the paper, I worked in layers from 2B pencils all the way to 6B & 7B for the darkest as I could go. To achieve the softer appearance I like to create in contrast to the more defined Celtic designs and such, I went to my trusty blending stumps as well as the usual no nonsense tissue paper. This project was also an attempt to improve on metallic elements (or in this case jewellery); working in grayscale and then using an eraser to create effects for a more realistic rendering.
I hope you enjoyed a look into this project and hope you will support our work through this artbook. Take care everyone!
I’ve been meaning to get some new watercolour brushes, as the ones I’ve been using (although having served well for years) are fraying and/or have rogue hairs going in one direction. Debating on whether or not to invest in squirrel-hair brushes, I decided it wouldn’t really serve me any purpose as I like painting in a particular way; and perhaps even more impractical for those who use hot-press paper. There are definitely a wide range of brushes out there and admittedly quite overwhelming, but after watching some reviews by other artists on Youtube I settled for trying out the Princeton Neptune range. I went for the Round Synthetic Squirrel in 0, 6, & 12 (as they are the sizes I use the most) of the 4750 Series. I’ll provide links below of where I got mine, even though this is not sponsored, and I’ll be sure to provide updates on how they fare with more use. I’m loving them so far, as the handles in particular feel more comfortable than my standard ones from the art stores here like Deserres or Curry’s. If any of you have used brushes from this brand please share your experiences in the comments, or even what your favourite brushes are; I’m sure we could all glean something useful from it. In the meantime I’ll be continuing using these new brushes as I’ve done for this latest piece, and will be retiring my older brushes for inks and acrylic washes.
As usual I started out with my drawing on tracing paper, eventually transferring the finished product with a graphite backing and tracing all the lines and details. I was sharing this thought on Instagram as well but, does anyone else hate ‘transfer’ days as much as I do?! Recently I’ve been laying some scrap paper as masking (as you see on the right side), just so I have less graphite residue to erase off of my watercolour paper when I’m done transferring.
There’s no better feeling than finally getting to put pigment to paper.
You always feel ambitious with the thought of filling a piece with knotwork, until the realization sets in of having to trace said knotwork for a second time accurately. I cheated a bit with this piece as you’ll notice with my preliminary drawing as I drew in only one side; the other side was cheekily transferred by doing a mirror/flip transfer of the paper. I also decided to incorporate some cute little Robins as well; going on themes of death and souls for this painting. You might be wondering what on earth I’m talking about, and rightfully so. I often tend to come by weird articles and stories (go figure), and a few that have interested me are of Robins visiting people in grieve and mourning. One in particular was that of a woman grieving the death of her child at his grave and a robin flying and landing on her. I hadn’t known of the bird’s connection in folklore and symbolism surrounding death. Truly fascinating.
These couple of weeks, I’ve added to the long list of artistic challenges for myself by exploring design once again. I used to include a lot of in my work in my high school days, from fabric to generally…..everywhere. Feeling that I’ve lost touch with it, I decided to take on learning Celtic knots and similarly Viking designs; which I may be able to incorporate into future work. As you may know I’m very interested in Scandinavian history and Norse designs, so I thought that if I’m going to do studies I might as well make it for something I’m very interested in exploring.
There are various resources to look at, from books, videos, to good old Google. The Book of Kells is of course recommended by most tutorials I’ve come across, as well as just looking at various Viking artifacts for inspiration. For reference purposes (for myself in my sketchbook) I followed an incredibly helpful playlist from a charming gentleman on Youtube, whom I’ll link below if you’re keen on learning various knots. Looking at images of Viking artifacts came in handy as well, because I could learn the knot-work but of course Norse designs differ in that they depict more animals, and have weaves which are more fluid among other differences. I’m by no means a professional of course, so it makes it even harder for myself without having a history background to learn merely on observation. It’s challenging, but quite fun.
There are a myriad of references you can consult on the web, so I wont bore you with google searches which I’m sure in this day and age everyone already knows about. Here are a few things I’ve been looking at. 🙂