Skulls and Yellow Gourd

Skulls and Yellow Gourd

A Spooky Halloween Painting

Yesterday I made a Spooky Halloween Painting for the Wetcanvas Weekend Drawing Event.

The host of this drawing event often includes a challenge. This week we were told:

Your challenge: A Chiaroscuro Painting:
Strong contrasts between light & dark…and if you like…add a witch…a goblin…a ghost…a ghoul …anything scary !!!

It’s Halloween tonight so something slightly spooky is very apt. Yes, let’s make a spooky Halloween painting!

Source Photos for a spooky Halloween painting.
The two photos


As usual there was a choice of photographs, the two above caught my eye and I thought I’d incorporate them into one painting.

The first photo is of an oddly shaped calabash or gourd (it looks like a yellow swan doesn’t it?) and the second photo is a shot of two skulls (I believe they are from cows/bulls/bison type of creatures – very alien looking!).

Skulls and Yellow Gourd Stage1
Rough Idea Sketch


There you can see the very rough sketch I made on a scrap of paper, I also played about with some ideas for the title, ‘Watch the Yellow Swan’ it says there (though I might prefer ‘Watching the Yellow Gourd)’.

Skulls and Yellow Gourd Stage2 - a graphite underpainting that already looks spooky.
Graphite Underpainting


I drew on some hot press watercolour paper, A4 size, and used graphite (loose and pencil) for the underpainting. I rather liked it at that stage – sorry about the glare!

Skulls and Yellow Gourd Final - A Spooky Halloween Painting is finished.
Final Painting with Acrylic Washes


Finally I finished off with some acrylic washes over the graphite. It’s not so evident in the photo but I got some really lovely textures with this and will be trying the combination of acrylics over graphite again soon.

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