For Halloween 2021, I was very in the mood to create a painting. The last time I really made a painting at this point was the #Mermay challenge back in May. One day I remembered an old character of mine that I hadn't thought about for years and I thought to myself "Why not redraw this?" And from that point I spent several weeks in October redesigning this character and illustrating her in a new painting.
Back in 2013...
When I remembered this character of mine, I specifically thought about her first iteration which is what you see here. I had originally drawn this for a speedpaint back when I regularly made timelapses of my work and uploaded it to youtube during this time.
Looking back at it, it honestly is not the worst thing I've made. Even back then I feel like I had a nice starting handle on color and light and shadow. But the things that were lacking was the fact that the character felt really flat. The sleeves and the scarf stood out to me as looking very weirdly flat and I didn't like the construction of the arms and hands at all. However, the energy and concept of the piece still interested me. Especially since I forgot about the magic powers I originally gave this character.
I felt I could absolutely redesign her and repaint this concept with my new 2021 perspective and knowledge.
Behind the Scenes
Recently I've started learning more about character design and implementing new strategies to create more interesting looking characters. Especially since a lot of my recent characters are more on the "surreal object head" side. So for this project, I took a page from a concept artist's book and started off by making vague silhouettes of what I might want for this redesign.
With this new iteration of The Halloween Spirit, I wanted her to have more of a round and playful appearance. I feel her original form was much too sinister with how thin and wiry she was. I wanted to really emphasize that she's not evil but really just a big mischievous pumpkin.
Her magic power is to give inanimate objects life during the Fall season and the souls she bestows to them are of an impish and playful manner. Just enough to annoy regular people but not enough to cause harm.
At the same time I was making sure I redesign her in a fun way so that I can also make something really interesting for October's sticker club that month.
Learn more about my Sticker Club in a separate portfolio entry here.
A very very short version of the full timelapse.
I am very pleased with how the final character design and the image came out. For the entirety of my 2021 I've been trying to embrace more vivid and experimental colors, especially when painting. While I was working on REMiniscence the year before, I had finally started to get a handle on digital painting, which was something I've been struggling with for years before that point. I started 2021 doing tons of small digital painting still life studies. And now I want to take what I learned from both those studies and that project and push it into new directions that I haven't gone before, which I feel was a perfect time to implement it into this project.
This large painting is available as an 11" x 14" print on metallic paper in my store, by the way.
I've been drawing since I could pick up a pencil, but the past 10+ years are when I really started to seriously study it and improve. I'm very interested in character design and character based illustration. My fondness for big bold colors and fun concepts follows me here as well.
The Halloween Spirit 2021
A project where I redesigned an old original character from 2013 and breathed new life into her in 2021 via painting.
#Mermay Day 15
The 15th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
A cute print of a painting that was offered in the April 2021 sticker club.
#Mermay Day 9
I participated in #Mermay2021 which was a challenge to draw mermaid related paintings every day for the month of May. A good handful of these I liked enough to include in my portfolio. This is the 9th painting in the series.
#Mermay Day 17
The 17th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
M-GIRL T-shirt Design
A continuation of the M-GIRL collection. This illustration is for the t-shirt design.
#Mermay Day 12
The 12th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
#Mermay Day 7
The 7th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
An original character I created and designed multiple Virtual-K relaunch products for. This illustration is for the holographic poster design.