Monday, October 31, 2011

Final Halloween Offering, Number Fourteen...

First of all, thanks to everyone who's joined me here at Second Star for my Halloween Offerings this year! I've had a great time drawing these pictures, and I've got a lot more ideas for next year.

It's finally here! Halloween night!

This is always a bittersweet night for me; I love Halloween (obviously), and wait anxiously for it all year. When it arrives, I soak it up, enjoying every minute. But there's always that twinge of sadness because I know that once it's gone, I won't see it again for another year.

*Heavy sigh*

But for tonight, at least, the ghouls are dancing, the witches are flying, the werewolves are howling, and the leaves are whispering as they blow across the streets...

For my final Offering for 2011, I'd like to show you what for me, above any other, has been the face of Halloween since 1978:

I do not wanna look up the stairs and see this...

I'm going to wait a few days for any more comments to show up, then I'll draw a name from those commenters to receive the print of their choice from the Offerings series.

I'm definitely doing this again next year, and I hope you'll join me for Halloween Offerings 2012.

Thanks for joining in!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Thirteen...

Yesterday, as part of the Halloween festivities at work, we painted pumpkins with the kids in my class (working at an elementary school has its advantages; I get to do stuff like this).

Here's how mine turned out:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Twelve...

Another great use for a set of extra, extendible jaws:

Poor Timmy...

Thanks for checking in with me, and I'll see you on Saturday!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Eleven...

Welcome back to Second Star to the Right, where I have another Halloween goodie to offer up...

I love comic books. Always have, always will.

One of the favorites of my youth was Swamp Thing. While not strictly Halloween related, the original series in the mid-70's was a fantastic example of gothic horror comics done right. The best of the series renders it creepy enough, in my opinion, to warrant inclusion in the category of Halloween art.

I've haven't checked out any of DC's recent universe-wide revamp, but I hear that a new Swamp Thing series is planned, so I'll probably pay another visit to the monster-infested swamps that fired up my imagination so long ago...


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Ten...

You may have noticed that I missed last Wednesday and Friday.  There's a story involved, but truthfully, it's not a very good one, and so I won't go into it here.  Suffice to say that computer issues were part of the problem, but not its entirety.

My most humble apologies, and I return today with a new Offering.

I love cemeteries...I can stroll for hours through the stones, enjoying the peace and quiet, paying attention to not much in particular.

I went to visit my dad's grave today, and on a whim took my camera. I consider photography as much a part of my art as anything I do with a pencil or brush, and so I make a photo Offering today.

As I strolled around the corner from my dad's grave, I came upon this Graveyard Angel, whom I had never noticed before:

I was entranced, and when I moved forward to get a closer shot, I found, through sheer happenstance of where I was standing, that she was staring back at me...

One step closer...

I won't lie to you: it was a very subtle, creepy moment--the almost total silence, combined with stone eyes--carved long ago--peering at me through my camera lens.

And that's why I submit it here, for your consideration, as a Halloween Offering.

I hope you enjoy it.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Nine...

I hope you enjoyed Hunter and Blake's submissions on Saturday (they certainly enjoyed drawing them, and can't wait to be famous), and thanks for checking back with me today.

I love cartooning, and definitely wanted to include that in my Offerings, so that's what I'm presenting today.

Several years ago, as I was waiting for someone to pass me the platter of Thanksgiving turkey, I remember thinking, "If I had an extra set of jaws, like an Alien, I could just snag my turkey from over there..."

This led me to think about all of the things that an extra set of jaws would be useful for, like yes, snagging turkey from afar, and maybe cheating while bobbing for apples---a game I was never very good at---which led to this cartoon:

Poor Timmy...

I hope you enjoy this, and please check back in on Wednesday, for the next Halloween Offering!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Eight...

Today is a bit different.

Today, instead of original artwork by myself, I'm offering up original artwork by my sons, Hunter and Blake, who have wanted to be involved with the Halloween Countdown since I told them about it.

They are the reasons that I do everything I do, and since it Halloween wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun without them, please allow me to present their first showcased artistic pieces, starting with Hunter, age 10.

He wanted to make a Halloween card for everyone, and I think he did a great job. The little animal "e's" and the zombie "p" wanting brains shows how creative he is.

Next up is Blake, age 6.

Blake informed me the other day that when he grows up, he wants to be a "professional vampire". I can tell he's put a lot of thought into this, because when he drew this piece, he informed me that the vampire's big shoes are important, because he "steps on people's feet so they can't get away".

I hope you enjoy this art from my sons, and I hope you can tell how very, very proud I am of both of them.

See you on Monday!


Hunter and Blake's Dad

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Seven

Today's piece was never intended for this series; strictly speaking, it isn't even about Halloween.

It's one of those "happy accidents" that I love so much about art.

I was working from a photo I took of a dead tree in my mother's yard. I wasn't thinking about it much...I truly enjoy the spontaneous creativity that can emerge when I "just go with the flow", so to speak.

I wasn't even in a particularly "Halloween-y" mood.

But as I worked, I began to think "Are there...faces in there, among the branches? Some laughing, some crying for release?"


Yes, I believe there are...

The Soul Tree

Thanks again for joining me today, and I'll see you on Saturday!

And remember, leave me a comment--love it, hate it, give it a "meh"--and you'll get your name into a drawing for the print of your choice.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Six...

Hello, and welcome back to Second Star to the Right!  Thank you for joining me for number six in my Halloween Offerings, which I present without further ado:

This is one of those instances where I sat down with no idea of where I wanted to go with the materials in front of me, and just let the picture take form as my hand was moving across it.

Admittedly not my best, but I still think it turned out well, and it was really fun just letting go with the creative process.

Thanks again, and I hope you'll join me for Number Seven on Thursday!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Five...

Thanks for joining me for number five in my Halloween Offerings! I appreciate everyone who's commented so far, and for those who haven't, I still appreciate you taking a look!

The 1931 James Whale Frankenstein stands as my favorite monster movie of all time. I discovered this film in my childhood through late-night monster-fests like Memories of Monsters, and I fell in love with it on first viewing. While not what we'd consider "scary" (not by today's standard, at any rate) Whale's moody and atmospheric direction, along with Jack Pierce's incredible make-up and prosthetic designs, and especially Boris Karloff's nothing-short-of-brilliant performance set the standard and made this movie unforgettable, while making Karloff's face an iconic image.

I soon sought out the book, and despite the differences, it has become my all-time favorite novel. I re-read it periodically, and it remains as crisp and thrilling (and full of gothic melodrama) as it was when I first read it in my childhood.

That being said, it's Karloff's Frankenstein Monster that visits us here:

I had originally planned on including something dramatic, such as bolts of lightning, in the space to the left, but this picture told me when it was finished, and I'm glad I listened.

Also, I'd never tried working with oil pastels before this pic, but after playing around with them, I can't imagine why. I'm hooked.

Thanks again for joining me today, and I hope you'll check back on Tuesday!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Four

Welcome back!  I'm glad you could join me again today for this, the fourth entry into my Halloween Offerings blog series.

Without further ado, please allow me to present Pumpkin Face:

I couldn't think of what else to call it...

I hope you've enjoyed the four pieces I've offered so far, and that you'll join me on Sunday for number five, and maybe bring a friend or two with you...


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Three...

Thanks for joining me again today!

One of my favorite movies--not just Halloween movies, but one of my favorite movies, period--is The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Not only am I a huge Tim Burton fan, but this movie in particular entranced me with its stunning design, dark strangeness, and a sense of magic that reminds me of those wonderful, pleasantly disturbing stop-motion Christmas specials from my childhood.

That being said, this is the first time I've even attempted to draw Jack Skellington, but I think it turned out pretty well:

He IS the Pumpkin King...

I hope you enjoy it; please let me know what you think, and I'll see you on Friday!



Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Offerings, Number Two...

I apologize for the lateness of the post, but this Monday has been one of the longest weeks I've ever had. And since the internet is open 24 hours, I'm still on time.

One of the things I love about drawing is how something can turn out completely different than what you plan in your head; I love the organic flow as a picture tells you what it wants to be. When I put my pencil down to paper, sometimes I get exactly what I visualize, other times, it's a surprise even to me.

That's what happened here; this started out as a scarecrow, but ended up as everyone's favorite king of the vampires (the non-sparkly kind, thank you very much--that's for you, Nik ;)), Dracula:

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did drawing it. That's what it comes down to, ultimately--I love creating, and I love sharing those creations.

It's getting late, and I've been sitting at my mother's computer for over an hour now (I told you this thing is slow), so I'll sign off and hopefully see you on Wednesday!



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Halloween Offerings: Day 1...

Welcome to my Halloween Offerings blog-a-thon!

This is my favorite season, with Halloween being one of my favorite nights of the year, and my imagination spends quite a bit of time there, so every other day for the next month, I'll be sharing my imaginings with you (I'll post more often if I can, but with my computer issues right now, every second day seems like a pretty safe bet).

For Day 1, I'd like to share with you a piece I call "Wake-up Call":

Four different friends mentioned the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence in Disney's Fantasia when I showed this to them, which is exactly what was in my mind while I was painting it, so I count this one as a success.

I'm pleased with how this one turned out, and I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

To make things more interesting and fun, I've decided to run a contest this month as well: anyone who posts a comment here at Second Star during October will be entered into a random drawing to win the print of their choice from my Halloween Offerings. Multiple comments do not increase your chances; just comment once, and you're in--of course, if you want to comment every day, please do; I thrive on the feedback.

Barring technological issues (if my mother's computer goes down, I'm sunk), I'll see you on Monday.

Thanks for joining me!