Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Nightshade Before Christmas

Color pencil and black ink on Bristol Board.  
6.35 cm x 8.89 cm (2.50 in. x 3.50 in.)

This is one of the top nine liked drawings posted on my Instagram @monstergram7, Sally with a jar of deadly night shade.

If you’re a fan of the film in which she appears, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or a fan on Disney film in general then you are probably well aware that Tim Burton not only wrote the story that served as the basis for the stop-motion animated film but created the designs for its characters. His art style is rather sketchy with an almost etching appearance. Some of this were pickup as design cues with raked textures on the sculpted environments, Jack Skellington’s pin-striped suit and Sally’s hair. Rather than copying Tim Burton’s style, I based this drawing on stills from the film and then applied hatching for shade and texture typical of inked comic art. The steps went 1) “I’m going to draw Sally”; 2) find a picture of Sally; 3) draw Sally in pencil; 4) ink Sally including suggest her hair texture with uneven lines. No other agenda than that.

If murderous intent were ever entertaining, then the way Sally continually attempts to execute the end of her mad scientist creator, Doctor Finklestein, is one of the best filmed examples of that. One such plan in the film involved deadly nightshade is a common name for an actual plant. More importantly, the name clearly lets you know that it is poisonous, and that’s perfect comic stuff. And here, Sally is so please to have her little hands on a jar of it.

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