The Ring...oh, my!

I have been a fan of horror movies since way back. I saw the original "The Fog" when I was a lad of 14. Unfortunately for me, there was actually a REAL fog on my block when I returned home. Trust me when I tell ya, that wasn't cool man.

A few years ago I stumbled upon a genre of horror that quite scared the crap outta me. Yeah, the Japanese stuff like "The Ring" and "The Grudge." The way I fell into this genre was by being abducted by a person in the mall. I was in Suncoast Video and a movie tester pushed a set of headphones at me and asked me to sit in front of a little TV set on a table. You see, this was way before Japanese horror actually made it to the USA audience via the movie theater. This company wanted to gauge the reaction of Americans, so we had to sit and watch a clip of a movie we didn't know. In this case, this unknown clip was actually from "The Ring." At no time during this little screening did they tell us what it was called or what it was we were doing.

So I sat down, headphones on my favorite skull and I watched. Oh, lord...what the holy crap was THIS?!? I saw a TV screen with static and heard some creeeeepy music/sounds, a lady combing her hair, a horse, a bunch of worms, a ladder, and...the....well. Her well. Samara's well. MOMMAAAA!

The experience left me exhilarated. I had never seen anything quite like it before and I wanted more. So I have since become a fan of Japanese horror and have seen a bunch of them. They do horror differently than we do. We like the ol' chainsaw, a bunch of stupid teens in the woods and a guy in a mask. They do ghosts that can be in your suitcase, your closet, your toaster...you get it. These ghosts can't be killed, can't be shooed away and they stay mad. Like the kinda of mad you feel when you pour spoiled cream in your coffee...and you don't have any more coffee, and there's a blizzard outside and you can't go out and get more coffee. And man, those female ghosts, with the hair in front of their faces....duuuuude...seriously dude? REALLY dude?

And so you know of my love affair with this new genre. It scares me and it sticks with me. And now I've taken one of the characters from "The Ring," the young girl named Samara, and have given her a birthday. Now let's get into the story of this art (and, while we're at it, I won't be answering my phone...you know how Samara rolls):

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In this quick color study of the pencil sketch, we see Samara, who just can't see to stay down that well, no matter what, strolling along the grass, holding a balloon. I'm going for a very desaturated look, to convey a sense of wrongness. You see, a dead chick walking with a balloon ain't what we call right.

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Now I'm taking time to establish shadows to push the art away from the background. The big yellow arrow indicates my light source. Having an arrow on a separate layer is a great reminder. Later, I'll add a secondary light source on the opposite side. So far the sky isn't making me happy. It's too happy for what is in reality a quite melancholy birthday. I'm trying to make this piece a kinda, awww ain't that cute, mixed with a dear lord why...WHY!!!!!! feeling.

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Okay I'm liking this more desaturated steel blue/gray sky much better. It gives me the melancholy mood and emphasizes the balloon. I'm still pushing that two treats-in-one feeling. It's a birthday, yay! But it's with it's a dead chick, walking with a balloon so where did I put my car keeeeeeys????!!!

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Now I'm working on her skin. The plan is to start with vibrant skin that's still alive, and then desaturated the colors later and show the fact that there is always water in that well. I kinda have to watch the movie again to check colors of her gown and see what the hair looks like. She is so close to the well, there should be wet hair, and wet footprints in the grass. Maybe even drips of water on the well lip, which she used to pull herself up. Now I'm scared. Why do I do these things to myself? I'll post more later. Still ain't answering that phone. As I said, we know how this chick rolls.