Kit bag of Terror.

Creating Horrors, Horror Art, Horror Influences, Uncategorized
Essential Tools for creating nightmare. (I’ve pretty much had to pack these away for the time being.) The glasses are a new addition and a bloody nightmare

I’ll be the first to admit I’m addicted to stationary. I cant walk past any place that has a whiff of ink and paper and not head in , even though I don’t need anything. I recently bought another three sketchbooks to add to the box full of blank ones I already have. There is just something about them though. A terrifying thrill as you open the blank pages, pen at the ready, hoping to all things holy and unholy your not going to make a total crap hole out of it. Nothing worse than a ruined sketchbook. I’ve thrown them away because the first image was so bad. What an Idiot!!

I have an old art paper storage cupboard that I retrieved from a skip in my wife’s school that has an entire drawer dedicated to old sketchbooks. Many evenings, if I’m struggling for inspiration I’ll look through them. Ideas that I’ve never finished, never followed through, old shopping notes, films to watch or books I’ve read. It’s like a time machine I suppose. I’ve actually thrown away more that I can remember and now that I’m moving house, I’m having to decide what to do with them again. It’s a hard choice. Worst of all, I dread to think what the binman would think if he actually glanced upon the contents!! I’d probably end up with the police on my doorstep thinking I was a crazed serial killer or something!!!

If you check out my instagram , you’ll see I’ve started a small sketchbook with skulls for April. I keep drawing them in my normal sketchbook , but just wanted to challenge myself from a Inktober point of view, which I usually fail. Due to the fact we are immanently about to move house, I’m having to pack away a lot of my art kit bag so I’ve had to reduce whats on hand. The small sketchbooks and 4 pens at hand are a great way to keep me drawing. I find if i stop, it takes me a while to get back into the flow of things. Plus, if I have to keep unpacking bloody boxes , the very thought will put me off and I go watch some crappy TV instead. Deadly!!!!

So, now I carry my little sketchbook ( and bloody glasses now ) with me everywhere. I’ve actually found that by limiting my tools I’m actually taking my time and developing dome great ideas and refining my skills. Well, hopefully. Check out my Instagram page and let me know what you think?

On another note, I watched Jordan Peeles Us this week. Please go see it. Creepy, horrific, terrifying and brilliant. I don’t know how he does it, but it’s great. Plus re-watching some classics, Halloween and Alien so far. I’ve not watched either for a long time. Halloween still hold up after all these years, even though it’s been copied now a million times over. Alien, it’s attention to detail and slow build up of dread is still as nail biting as it ever was. Fantastic stuff.

Podcast recommendation would be Shadows at the Door. It’s a great combination of original and classic macabre story, but the creators have a conversation afterwards about the story ,the influences and general themes surrounding a particular type of tale. Well worth a listen.

Thanks for reading, sorry for the delay!! Once I’ve moved this should be more regular!!!!

Don’t forget to check out Instagram and twitter , plus take a read of my stories over at Bloody Pens .

Keep checking under the bed!

Dan(smonsters)

Bloody Pens and Sleepless Nights

Creating Horrors, Horror Art, Horror Influences, Horror Writing, Uncategorized

I’m currently in the middle of a horrific horror story. Trying to buy a house, sell a house, organise finance and solicitors and moving. Who knew what horrors are in the real world. No wonder I draw all the stuff I do!!

Writing horror stories is something I’ve done for a while but never really had the bottle to put them out in the world. I read so many trashy horror novels when I was younger , I’m always amazed I didn’t start back then. James Herbert, Shaun Hutson and Harry Adam Knight to name a few. Gory, spooky, violent and smatterings of sex! Then later discovering M R James, Robert Aickman and Lovecraft ( Lovecraft was introduced to me via Metallica’s Master of Puppets album). They fired my imagination as a teenager , when horror was at its height! I highly recommend Grady Hendrix Paperbacks from Hell if you want to know more about this fantastic time for the horror novel.

This an outstanding book about the rise and fall of the pulp horror novel. A must read.

I find writing these stories are great way to exercise the brain muscles if I’m struggling for art ideas. I get ideas anytime and frantically try to put them into my phone or write them on random bits of paper with little abstract illustrations. Sometimes I’ll create just a title ( Fowl! Wildcamp! The Viking Dead!) and I tend to then find them weeks later, clueless about what I’ve written down, the memory lost to the several other things I have done since!

I try and create small low budget horror scripts and see what comes out of that ( Evil Dead making it’s influences known again!) Some of these stories simply get turned into comic ideas ( check out the comics page on the web page). Others are just simple sentences that end up creating an image on it’s own with no real back story. Anything else seems to need expanding, I can’t seem to just leave it and they get turned into the stories I upload onto my Bloody Pens blog. The ideas can become so big, I can’t justify with one image and certainly am not talented enough to create a comic strip from them. Strangely, once I’ve finished writing and then upload, a single image can pop into my head and I frantically get the sketch down. I was always a fan of the way the early pulp novels had black and white illustrations attached to the stories and it’s something I’d really like to publish, once I have enough stories and this whole moving malarky has sorted itself out, I’ll get on it! Promise!

I recently watched Mandy, the horror movie starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Panos Cosmatos . Being a fan of those wonderful Italian exploitation horror flicks, this ticked all the boxes for me. Nicolas Cage at his over the top best, weird trippy lighting , almost non existent script and buckets of gore. I also loved the fact the special make up effects looked like special make up effects. Not quite 100% real, but good enough.

I also watched Hereditary, which I know some people love and some people seem to really hate. I have to say I really enjoyed it. Gave me a Rosemary’s Baby vibe. I loved the way it built up a slow feeling of dread. I can see why some people would not like it, especially with movies like the Conjuring series and Get Out ( which is outstanding!) However, is it me, or whenever there seems to be a movie about witchcraft cults ( spoiler alert!) how come they always seem to be over 60 and naked??

Anyway, time to get back to the sketchbook and and get the inks out. Sorry this was a touch late. I promise I will keep up. Please check out my Instagram etc and let me know what you think of my stories and this blog.

Keep checking under the bed!

Dan

Creating Horrors!!!

Creating Horrors, Horror Art, Horror Influences, Uncategorized

I get asked a lot where my inspiration comes from. Its hard to say to be truthful. Films (I watched Hereditary recently…wow!) TV (I started watching Night Flyers on Netflix, like it so far!) Books (Robert Aickman’s The Wine Dark Sea) music ( I’m writing this listening to John Carpenter Anthology) the usual offenders. I listen to a lot of podcasts these days, Lore and Shadows at the Door are two of my favourites at the moment.

INSPIRATION!!!


I draw everyday. Even if I’m not in the mood, especially if you have a ton of other ” life” jobs to do first! The brain is a muscle , and it need warming up.
I’ve filled so many sketchbooks now, I’m running out of room to store them That’s why I at least try to draw a skull as soon as I get up. Kettle on, tea made and sketchbook out. A five minute doodle is better than nothing at all!!

SKETCHBOOKS of DARK THOUGHTS!

Once I have an idea or two, I’ll try and steal a couple of hours in the studio. That’s a lot grander than it sounds, believe me. Its actually an old outhouse at the back of my home. I ripped all the crap out, put in a new ceiling , door and electricity. Its damp in winter and too hot in summer. Plus the occasional mouse, slug and a lot of spiders. Yet I can make as much mess as I like!

As much mess as I like!!

I start with a pencil drawing , figuring out shapes,sharp teeth and how the image is going to fit on the paper. Although I use a LOT of black ink, its amazing how important that pencil sketch can be. I’ll then transfer the image to some illustration board using my trusty light box. I purchased this about 10 years ago from a closing down sale in a craft shop for a fiver!! Best deal I have ever had! Art is an expensive mistress, especially when you use as much as I do.

THE INFAMOUS LIGHTBOX!

I normally transfer onto Bristol Board. But, I’ve discovered some mixed media pads from Daler Rowney that are fantastic!

  • Then, it’s on to the INK! My main tools are:
  • Parallel Pen, 0.2 and 0.3,
  • Pentel Brush Pen
  • Kuratake Zig Cartoonist pen
  • Tooth brush
  • Acrylic Markers
  • and, of course, BLACK INK! ( with occasional white and red)

To be honest, I’ll use anything I can get hold of. I’ve several ruined brushes that I keep using.

Once my hands full of ink, I know I’ve finished! So it’s posting on Instagram, then loading up on Etsy.

So, there you go. That’s how I create!! Next time I will go a bit deeper into some of my artistic influences. Let me know what you think? Feel free to subscribe to the blog so you can keep updated (click the triangle at the bottom of the page) . Don’t forget to check out my Instagram and Twitter. You can my Dark Tales here and the web comic Deth Metal by myself and good guy Silent Mark.

Thanks again!

Dansmonsters