Saturday, March 23, 2013

#543 - How (not) to draw demons

This post is meant to be a guide to drawing better illustrations of demons, and is not in any way, shape or form meant to be a criticism of any soul brave enough to draw that which does not want to be drawn—and has the power to make that point to any human, fatally.


Artists, both aspiring professional and terrified amateur alike, seem to struggle a bit with illustrating demons they either meet in person or see in photos—regardless of how poignant the impression left by their encounter or how clear a given photo may be.

The most accurate illustration I've seen since readers started submitting drawings of the demons they see in my photos and the ones they meet at home is The Pillow Demon, by aspiring artist Daniel Cabbage:
A sketch of the pillow demon shown in VIDEO/PHOTOS | The Pillow Demons (by aspiring artist Daniel Cabbage)
His depiction of the pillow demon is close to the real thing, and way better than I (or anyone I know) could do; but, it misses the mark, in that key details are not included, and lacks the proper conveyance of the emotion expressed by the demon's face in the actual pillow:
The pillow demon's face is askew, in that its gritted teeth are not in line with its eyes
But, more importantly, it fails to point out one of the primary characteristics of demons that possess fabric: that their facial features don't always line up. You'll notice specifically in the still frame above that the clenched teeth of the pillow demon and its eyes do not line up. That's important to note for anyone devising a way to detect the emergence of a demon through fabric or any other material.

It's not that I need drawings of demons, especially when I have photos; rather, it's the drawing that convey the characteristics of a demon that need to highlighted in the study and classification of same.

In the illustration, the artist drew a toothless, open mouth. That's not the same, and anyone looking for demonic activity may not know what to look for without knowing that a pillow demon's face can appear distorted upon emergence until it was too late.

Here's an attempt by the same artist to sketch a hobgoblin demon:
An artist's attempt to sketch a hobgoblin demon, which looks like Johnny Galecki, Darlene's boyfriend on the ABC sitcom Roseanne, in a cloak
The problem here is obvious: all hobgoblin demons wear white, glossy masks; but, even with a score of photos of such demons [see More of what a hobgoblin demon looks like (and other things about them, too)], and after clearing up the source photo for this illustration (shown below), the goal of capturing this key fact about hobgoblin demons was not met:
The white mask of a hobgoblin demon is made more evident by the sharpening technique described in TECHNOLOGY | Enhancing photos of demons (and the like)
Any rendition of a hobgoblin demon should highlight the style of cloak and the features of the mask, as well as its height relative to other objects in the photo. These are the qualities and characteristics that distinguish it from over a dozen other black-cloaked, white faced demons of the same approximate height.

In sum, any drawing of a demon must capture the unique qualities of its specific variety first, and then the details that make it unique among its kind. When drawing a demon, think of yourself as the artist who accompanied Charles Darwin on his expedition to document evolution. You have to emphasize the aspects most important to the purpose of drawing them at all.

More drawings by the same artist
Here are more drawings of demons seen in my photos by the same artist:
These illustrations fail to capture the key elements of their respective photos
The photos from which the drawings were created can be seen in the following posts (they are listed in the order seen above):