We’re nearly there folks. I took a couple of days break at this point in the challenge due to health but quickly sketched these two before we headed out to the hotel for the weekend at MCM.
These are both fairly simple pieces, and didn’t take long to do. There was an element of feeling a lack of enthusiasm at this point in the project, but I wanted to see it through.
So on to number twenty-five, and once I’d made my mind up between a cactus or a hedgehog as the main focus, I had to pull this character out of the past.
You see this fellow is called Ludo The Luddite; and twenty-odd years ago I started sketching little doodles of him destroying technology and especially computers. They were promoted by my annoyance with the systems at the place I was working at the time and typically showed him snarling and burying his axe in whatever piece of technology had offended me at the time.
This present-day incarnation has obviously mellowed somewhat, judging by the contented smile on his face…
Number twenty-six is a tad more gruesome, and is a lot more rushed. I did it once we’d settled into our hotel room after a long Uber journey to the ExCel centre.
It’s meant to be a flayed human skin stretched on a rack, or a tanning table of some sort. Must be the influence of Halloween just round the corner – either that or the lingering grossness of being ill and really wishing my skin wasn’t crawling on a regular basis through anxiety.
Again, it’s not one of my favourites, but there’s a certain something to it.
I was just starting to feel unwell as an unpleasant bug that’s doing the rounds decided to take a run at my immune system.
As a result, I had a couple of days where I didn’t keep up with the pace of things as well as I had been. I fell behind as the week progressed, only to have a concerted surge back on top as the weekend drew to a close.
Number twenty-three was a prompt that I might have made more of, but I decided to use ‘muddy’ as an excuse to show someone covered in muck.
You could interpret it as a sight gag on the mudslinging that seems to have replaced political and social discourse, but that is entirely your decision. It only occurred to me after I’d finished it.
In general this was a quick and, if you’ll forgive the pun, dirty sketch while I was watching TV and sipping lemsip – it definitely isn’t one of my favourites.
Number twenty-four, by comparison, was fun to do as I just sat quietly and did detail work. I initially thought I might do something that depicted combat, but decided instead to go for a guillotine. This gave me an excuse to practice depicting an object rather than my usual grotesques – and I really like how this one turned out, with clean lines and a sense of what it is immediately apparent.
It occurs to me, on this Halloween, having just looked in the mirror to go to the shops, that I’m definitely someone’s worst Halloween nightmare right now.
You know what? I’m okay with that.
And so here we go into the last ten pictures for October and this amazing challenge. Last year I didn’t complete the whole thing, largely because I came into it by accident and didn’t even know where people were getting their prompts from.
This year has felt more of a project to complete and with that has come both tensions and anticipations by equal measure.
Day twenty-one went through two concepts. The prompt was: Drain. Initially I thought of something running in the fantasy vein that involved vampires. A creature draining the lifeblood from it victim was my first idea, but I didn’t have a lot of mental energy this day.
I needed to do something more simple, and so the image of a physical drain in the street sprang to mind. Having something noxious slipping down it provides a sense of movement – and it was a good exercise in perspective.
Day twenty-two brought the prompt of ‘expensive’ and so I went with something that could reflect that on several fronts depending on your mood. A diamond engagement ring is traditionally supposed to cost a good few months’ wages – making it an expensive declaration of love.
Depending on your own experiences and feelings about marriage, you can also make sulkier arguments about the cost of marriage against your own selfish needs – but it’s not what my intentions for the piece are.