Santa Muerte - concept sketch

Now that my annual contest for young artists is over with, I'm back to drawing.  Incidentally, the Enchanted Visions Project is also back from the uncertainty of the summer hiatus 'under new management' with a new theme.  The new theme for October 2011 is "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead).  I was hoping for something a little more 'vague' ... something that has a lot of room for interpretation.  This one... I mean, ... the Day of the Dead is the Mexican holiday with Catrinas and sugar skulls, you know.  Not something I'd consider remotely 'creepy'.  It might be the bright colors that go with all the festivities.  Anyway, this was supposed to be EV's Halloween-y theme.  To be honest, I wasn't ecstatic.  But then again, I'm always... and I mean ALWAYS... kind of meh about the themes for some reason.  At least, we don't have to paint witches.  There's enough of that out there already.

I almost felt like not participating this month because I just was so uninspired by the theme. XD  I had to let it sit and brew a little bit before I even felt like looking a little deeper into the holiday as far as the meanings and the origin and that sort of stuff.  So as usual, I do my research online. (I LOVE Google!!!  It's my second favorite thing after the internet.  I love wiki, too.)  Learned a bit about the history -- how the celebration of the dead that existed before the Christians came to the land by the indigenous people dates back to the Aztec time, honoring the goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl.  From there, of course, research leads to the worship of Santa Muerte.  To me, these two figures that are often morphed together with differing emphasis of Aztec flavor or Caltholic flavor seemed far more fascinating than Catrinas, which are skeletal dolls dressed in fancy clothes and big hats to represent the fact that death comes to all -- the rich and the poor alike.  The caricatured skeleton in bright clothing doesn't exactly strike fear in the mind of the viewers (and I believe that they weren't meant for that, either).

So I'm going with something in between -- personification of Santa Muerte or someone dressed as 'the Lady Death' (with the scythe and the globe) for the Day of the Dead celebration.  I'm hoping that I can put a bit of 'insanity' in the girl's eyes by the time I'm done with the coloring.  As far as the color scheme goes, I'm drawn to 'white' for this one... or pale, subdued colors at most.  Santa Muerte statues are found either clad all in black or mostly white from the photographs I've seen.  Black, of course, is the color we'd expect to see when anything 'dark' or 'scary' is mentioned or intended.  But what if it's possible to paint an image eerily disturbing in mostly white?  I find that very intriguing.


  1. i never considered the day of the dead to be a scary thing. the skeletons always seem to be smiling, and the people are always celebrating their deceased relatives...much different than the west halloween for sure!
    your sketch is beautifully creepy! im really excited to see the colors :D

  2. Yep, I don't know what the girls were thinking when they decided on this theme. I wasn't the only one who wasn't happy and said so. XD I'm curious to see what others come up with.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts