Thursday, December 21, 2017

First entry to Challenge VIII ('Challenge Ate') - 'The Unspeakable Thing Under the Bed'

For our eighth edition of the Painting Challenge, the theme is 'Challenge Ate', and so celebrates all things scary, creepy and monstrous. I could easily go off on a tangent on how this could reflect the socio-political landscape of parts of our world today, but lets keep this civil and focus instead on kinder, gentler monsters, such as fire breathing dragons, rapacious werewolves and perhaps even dread Cthulhu.  

Mulling over what I would do for my first entry, I thought back to my childhood, remembering the things that I considered to be particularly frightening and monstrous. I clearly remember having a puppet that seemed quite scary sitting in the night's darkness, and the moon-shadows of the trees outside my window could be quite creepy, but the thing that really caused me bring the covers to my nose was the thought that something unspeakable could be lurking underneath my bed. 

My mind would race, and I would think, 'What could be under there?' Was it listening for me go to sleep before it would make its move? If I ran, would it catch me before I made it to my bedroom door? Should I peak under my bedframe to make sure I was safe? Thinking of all these things while peering over the top of the sheets was such wonderfully delicious torture. 

It's a wonder I got any sleep at all during those years.

Anyway, here is a little vignette I came up with as a wink to those macabre childhood imaginations. 

The bed and teddy bear are 3D prints from files I found on Thingiverse. The bedlinen is tissue, soaked in diluted white glue, while the lone slipper and tentacle were mocked-up from a bit of milliput sculpting putty.

As I was pressed for time to make the submission, I decided to paint this in a fairly straightforward greyscale effect, with only the tentacle being in colour. I would have preferred to experiment with a few more ideas, but considering the time constraints I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out.


Next Up: Chapter II of Ortona '43