“Sleepy Hollow”

#lovefallart, sleepy hallow#LoveFallArt

Happy October, everyone!

I am happy to say that autumn weather has finally reached Colorado’s front range. September was a pretty hot month, but today it has cooled off nicely. I’m also so excited to see the leaves changing down in town, and it’s a joy to my heart to watch the wind blow them across the road. It’s really amazing what you miss when you’ve been away for so long. Autumn is definitely my favorite season.

Today’s layout is inspired by participation in the Art Journal Prompt Fridays group on Facebook. It is a closed group, I believe, but if you seek them out and send a request, I’m pretty sure the admin will allow you entrance. The helpful thing in this group is to participate in the prompts.

This was what I managed to get taken care of over the last week between working two jobs and other commitments.

The prompt was to be inspired by the Sleepy Hollow story. I found it extra convenient that Netflix had Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp available for streaming so I watched it one night when I was preparing some of the art.

I went with a pretty literal translation of this as I wasn’t feeling too abstract. I knew I wanted to go with greens and purples and blues in the layout – a bit different than what I’d normally imagine for Sleepy Hallow (reds, oranges and blacks would normally be what I’d picture for the story.)

I wanted the layout to have a sense of foreboding to it – so I didn’t include the headless horseman himself. But I did provide his horse, a spooky pumpkin and a creepy tree to get the point across. The goal with looking at this layout is to have the person looking at it thinking “I know that headless horseman is around here somewhere.”

Maybe he’s taking a bathroom break behind the tree. Haha!

sketchBelieve it or not, but this one actually started off as a sketch. I read about the prompt last Saturday and then let that sit in my head for a bit. One evening just before bed I had the idea pop into my head so I took out my travel Moleskine and sketched out a comp really quick so I wouldn’t forget my idea.

Once I had some time to start creating, I began the layout by putting ink to paper with a combo of my Dylusions spray inks in London Blue, Crushed Grape, After Midnight and Cut Grass. I added a few spritzes of Recollections Black spray ink, as well. Of course my Canson paper decided to warp as the ink dried. Here’s a photo just to give you a clear picture on how bad it gets (and why, dear Canson, I will NEVER buy another of your mixed media books to do mixed media work in it. If you advertise a product as being mixed media friendly that means it should handle both wet and dry mediums without warping like this.)

warped canson
Canson mixed media book warping.

I weighed down the page overnight to flatten it back out then hit it with a coating of Golden Regular Gel Matte to seal up the inks since by this time I knew I was going to be adhering pieces of work to the page.

For the flaming green forest background, I painted the flames in green and yellow onto some Strathmore watercolor paper with my new set of Kuretake Gambi watercolors (love those things – I just enjoy all the premixed colors they provide and they really do have a good heavy pigmentation to them. I did the same with the gnarly spooky tree and the pumpkin, painting their shapes onto watercolor paper and allowing them to dry. For the horse, I referenced an image of a horse from online and sketched it onto a page torn from an old copy of Stephen King’s Firestarter book and painted over it with watercolors.

sleepyh-3When the gel medium coating had dried on the main page, I painted over it a little with some yellow-green Artist’s Loft acrylic paint. And when that was dry, I adhered the flaming green shape to the page. At that point I had not yet painted the additional tree shapes on the flame shape. I did this with watercolors once the gel medium had dried. It was all a matter of layering from that point forward. Once the tree shapes had dried, I glued the horse down to the page, then the spooky tree. I panted more gnarly branch shapes all around the edges of the page to help pull the eyes in, then attached the pumpkin to the front with some double-sided raised foam tape to give the pumpkin a little dimension.

sleepyh-2I was thinking about doing more to make the pumpkin stand out since it’s essentially black over black, but I actually like that it’s kind of “hidden” in the layout. Adds more mystery.

That was essentially it for this layout. I was thinking of doing some odd zentangle shapes around the edges at some point, as well, but again I’m to a point now where I feel like I’m done with the layout and ready to move on to whatever comes next.

Hope you enjoyed the layout. Leave a comment below or like the page and share with your friends. :) Thanks for reading!

List of materials:

Canson Mixed Media sketchbook
Mod Podge
Golden Soft Gel (Matte)
Dylusions spray inks in London Blue, After Midnight, Crushed Grape and Cut Grass
Recollections spray ink in Black
Artists Loft Acrylics
Kuretake Gambi watercolors
Strathmore watercolor paper
Yoobi gelly roll pen
Torn book page
Bic Mark-it Marker

One thought on ““Sleepy Hollow”

  1. I love the source of the horse (no rhyming intended!) in this work. A page from a King novel is perfect for this mysterious painting. The whole piece is wonderful,


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