New Illustration | And I looked, and behold, a pale horse!

So it’s been a minute. But I have a new project to share with you all now! Since the summer I’ve been playing around with using acrylics and trying some new things in my work, and recently I finished up a four-painting project illustrating the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (very spooky. very me. very on-brand, I know.)

I’ve made some other paintings before these, which you can find on my new Instagram and twitter accounts (these two are purely for my traditional work & paintings now. you can still follow incoherentmuses for digital art and comic updates!). However, this project was the first full-blown thing I’d tried to do since making some more experimental moves at pushing my work forward. It was quite a learning experience in terms of finding out what I do and don’t like about painting.

I wanted to see how consistent I could be using this new material and exploring style developments, so I gave myself the challenge of creating this set of four illustrations depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Sketching and designing them with the idea of being playful and experimental in mind was challenging on the one hand, but quite freeing on the other. I wasn’t locked into having to make certain choices because of the method I’d be using to make the piece – but I didn’t have any specific restraints to guide my designs.

Two WIP paintings of Death and Conquest

I went for a demonic theme in the end, because that’s just what I like to draw. I’m trying to do more of that lately, drawing what I like to draw. It’s stupid not to, right? (it’s also harder than it sounds). I also, and this might be a wild choice, didn’t want to draw them on horses. I just wanted some cool Horsemen-themed demons. And that’s what I ended up with.

I had a lot of fun playing with masking parts of the images off with these. Masking fluid is not, I don’t think, designed exactly to be used with acrylic paint but that’s what I forced it to do! I’ve been really enjoying negative space silhouettes and stencil-type work lately. I just like that stark contrast between rough, painterly marks and textures, and clean white edges.

The other thing I was playing with was drawing in more detail than I usually do. I like doing fiddly bits with microns, I like having details in my work but I just…wasn’t doing them. Because it didn’t ‘fit’ with how I was working in ink. But there is no ‘fit’, it’s my work, and if I want to draw a bunch of skulls then I just can and no-one can stop me. Isn’t art amazing?

I really enjoyed making these in the end, even if they took a lot longer to finish than I was hoping for. Some parts of the technique I’ll take with me, others I won’t. I’m still trying to push myself forward and not get caught up in fixating on a ‘style’. I need to draw what I like and then show it to people.

The finished pieces will be going up on my Instagram and Twitter over the next couple of weeks, and all four are available in my Society6 & Inprnt stores as of right now! I have no idea what I’m going to work on next, but whatever it is it will be dark and spooky and probably have skulls in.

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