My second ink video! (well, technically my fourth if you count the two I made before I decided I was Officially Making These, but let’s not make this overly complicated). Continuing with my demonic obsession, this time exploring a character I draw a lot, simply called The Daemoness because naming things is hard, and also she’s more of an archetype than a character.
This was a slightly more complicated piece, certainly trying things I don’t usually do with my ink work. I’m really enjoying this slightly less abstract vein I’ve been going down, though I do miss my abstract stuff – someone remind me to film some of that sometime soon. But with this I wanted to try out things that I thought would not only be interesting to paint, but would also look good on camera – things like dripping ink into painted on water, painting wet on wet, and using masking fluid.
There’s a lot I learned from this. Things like: those eyes look cool but should have been more numerous and bigger to stand out more, especially on camera. Things like: Sam you need to test out your ink techniques on the fancy watercolour paper before you jump into filming your final piece because that paper is way nicer than your sketchbook paper and India Ink does Very Different Things To It. And also things like: either stretch your paper first or tape it down better because painting wet on wet when the paper is warping just makes everything pool up and it’s The Worst.
Let’s move on from my many and varied mistakes though. Let’s talk about the fun side of coming up with a character painting – sketchbook work and influences! One of my goals with this semi-re-launch of the blog is to dive deeper into the behind the scenes stuff, including what inspires me and where I draw reference from. Half the time that answer is ‘something from pop culture’, but it’s something I’m always fascinated by when other artists talk about, so I’m going to talk about it anyway.
With this character a lot of her inspiration comes from music – I have a whole playlist dedicated to working on artwork of her, that gives the right kind of vibes. Lilith Immaculate, one of three Cradle of Filth songs that I actually like, is one of the main ones. Visually my initial points of reference were the Xenomorph design, and the Cenobites from Hellraiser. A kind of aggressive, spiky-feminine look.
Colour-wise I knew I was going to stick with black and white for certain, since that is my inky way, and red was a natural addition because a) duh, demons; and b) black-white-red is a probably overused colour combo that nevetheless works because it’s simple and can be used to great effect in terms of contrast and in terms of making everything covered in blood. I worked using the ink I was going to make the final painting with right from the start, because at this point I’ve made enough paintings to know that if I plan in quink and execute in India Ink, I’m not gonna have a good time.
Since I made so many thumbnail ideas to start with, I kept bouncing around over which painting I actually wanted to make, as if I could only ever turn one of them into a fully finished piece. Then I remembered that I am (mostly) my own boss, and could therefore make ALL of them into finished paintings if I wanted to. So I settled on the daemoness wading in blood, in part because the orientation of the image made it an ideal candidate for another video – filming horitzontally when painting vertically for the Hellion piece doesn’t look all that good, IMO, and I need to figure out a better way of filming when I paint in portrait orientation.
Filming this was an excersise in stress though. I’m not a Film & Photography person, and the only reaons I have a Canon is because it’s an old model that someone gave me when they were getting a new one. The memory card I have can only film about 15-20 minutes at a time, and when you’re painting it’s a real buzz-kill to know that you cannot get lost and exceed the timer you set when it goes off in case the camera stops recording and you miss part of the painting. The solution, of course, is to get a larger memory card, but that costs money that I do not currently have to spare and so I work within my limitations. Stopping every 15 minutes to copy off the footage I have and then picking back up again.
There is a moment, in the video, a couple frames long, where you can see me flip off the painting. This is because the drip of red in on the right wing was not intentional, and not something I could get rid of. Red, you see, does not come out. Not in my experience at least. I think I worked it into the painting reasonably well, and if I hated it more there’s always Photoshop. in the moment, though, there is nothing you can do but swear at the painting and try to beat it into submission with your brush.
This was another fun experiment in filming things, though, and despite all the difficulties filming and my eternal struggle with How Do Editing Software? I actually had a lot of fun. I think I ended up using two different editing programs to stitch this thing together, but I’m happy with the end result, and unless someone takes away my camera, I think I’m going to keep making more of them.
So stay tuned for more videos, or you can subscribe on Youtube! (Which is a thing I have now! amazing!)