Soooooo I hated making this painting. Remember how I said there seemed to be something up with the paper I used for the last one? Well there's definitely something up. It's obviously my fault for using it again, but this time it was way worse, with any mixed paint I used separating and smearing on the paper (but working fine on other papers I tested it on). I had a mini meltdown Friday night and almost scrapped it but worked through the problems, making some color concessions to use premixed paints I had. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
Wtf? It was basically like having someone slap your pencil as you write. Every time I put the brush down on the paper it got worse. The red in the purple I mixed was sinking into the paper while the blue was smearing around on top which meant anytime I brushed back over a spot the blue lifted off and magenta/purple smeared out from underneath.
Annnnyyyyway. This guy is a Devil Whale, or Aspidochelone, orrr Jasconius. It's a pretty pervasive idea in various folklore, but I first remember reading about it in the Voyages of Sinbad as a kid. It's a "whale", giant fish or giant sea turtle that, according to medieval bestiaries, lures sailors onto its back as it has the basic appearance of a small uninhabited island. When the sailors light a fire to cook food the monster awakens and pulls them and their ship to the bottom of the ocean. Here are a few old illustrations of some:The little seaweed fins on my guy where inspired by this totally weird Tassled Wobbegong a kind of "carpet shark":
I didn't make it a literal whale because so many things described as whales in maritime lore are not literal whales, and sometimes things called "devil whales" where further described as being giant sea turtles.
Doing all those tiny scales meant gripping a brush super hard for a full day so my hand is pretty brutalized at the moment. I took Monday to just lay around reading and sketching. I've been working my way through this book:
A collection of short ocean themed horror stories by William Hope Hodgson. Previously I had only read the Voice in the Dawn an extremely creepy fungus themed story which was adapted by Toho in the weirdest most psychedelic way ever into this movie, Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People which is also very entertaining on it's own merits:
All the stories I've read so far from this collection have been great, and Hodgson is particularly good at making the ships and the ocean itself sound like endlessly dark mysterious places, with horrible unseen things lurking in shadowy corners and snatching people away one by one. I recommend it!
Anyway, I'm slacking this week and really need to pick up the pace. Ow. My hand.