Maybe I have been marathoning too many forensic dramas on that one streaming video website. Or, maybe it was that one National Geographic magazine featuring the excavation of Pompeii, the one with the partially exposed skeleton still wearing gold and jewels, displaying her affluence thousands of years after her death, that I had been drawn to since it’s arrival at my grandparent’s house some thirty years ago.
At any rate, I am sure I am not the only artist who takes pure blissful joy in drawing the human skull. Applying lines and values to depict the contours of both skulls and faces is rewarding beyond any other subject matter I have composed. There is a psychological connection at play, and I imagine it is not dissimilar from that which elephants would experience when caressing the bones of their lost kin.
I came across an illustration in one of my anatomy books today which seemed bizarrely humorous to me; it appeared to be very reminiscent of Lon Chaney’s Phantom, or Vincent Price’s Dr. Phibes. In the spirit of the season, I decided to sketch it out. I added teeth to it seeing the original illustration I was working from had faded out below the nose.
I figured if the skull had eyes and a nose, it deserved some teeth as well.
And why not a big ol’ ear too, while I’m at it?