I was very excited about Halloween 2022. It was our first Halloween living in the US without COVID restrictions, and I was willing to see how the real thing worked. So, apart from decorating the house, buying candies, and eating pumpkin spice foods, I thought of drawing some holiday-themed characters.
I searched for Halloween images for inspiration, but most seemed very gritty, with too much blood and darkness. That was not my mood, so I started searching for something more in the category of eerie with a certain cuteness… and the results were too childish. There wasn’t something in-between? Well, maybe I could do something about it. I started with a quick sketch in Photoshop for a big-headed puppet with buttons as eyes, which immediately transformed into a scarecrow. But it was a cute scarecrow, he looked nice as if he was a child! That was it! I was going to do several monsters, but when they were children.
I started with the scarecrow, drawing a nice thick line. I put in the base colors with lots of oranges and also desaturated reds, blues, and greens. Later, I did several layers: one for the form shadows, one for the cast shadows, one for the lighting, one for the white shining, one for the environment, and one for a secondary light. I chose one color for each one and combined them. I retouched everything and ended it up by adding a little bit of texture and grain. I called the little guy Norman; it sounded good on him.
The second one was the bat, and here I also wanted to make a joke with the double sense of the word «bat.» He looks so sad; it seems like he has lost his game! Or maybe he still doesn’t know how to use that bat correctly? I used the same process with the same type of layers and colors. The base colors were purple, pink, and yellow for contrast this time. The greens were a late addition, but they worked very well. I called him Baltimore Jr. because my husband and I had already called Baltimore a bat drawing once.
The third one was the voodoo priestess since I didn’t want a «regular» witch. This required me a little bit of documentation… I was thinking of a voodoo doctor with many skulls, bones, a cigar, and a suit with a vest. But in my search, I found that the real priestesses are more interesting than the ones pictured in popular culture. So I tried to draw her interesting enough! Once again, I repeated the process and picked some beautiful earthy tones with reds and whites. I called her Marie in honor of Marie Laveau.
The last one was the werewolf. And though I wasn’t going to pick the sex for the character, in the beginning, I later decided to draw a she-wolf. She was going to be the toughest in her school! I took references from real grey wolves for the fur tones (many, many tones of tan, grey and blue!) and used some purples and pinks too. The process went the same way, and then I decided to call her Aisling, like a character in one of my favorite films, The Secret of Kells.
I finished them just in time for Halloween! However, I couldn’t put them in the portfolio because I was busy with the treat-or-tricksters!
I hope you enjoy them!