Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween! Ooh Scarey!

I saw the cutest thing today. A little girl dressed as a pumkin much like my image. She was walking with her mum through a shopping centre in Glasgow. A shopping centre! Why?? Why dress your child as a pumpkin to go shopping? Coz its halloween and its cute.

Not only was she dressed as a pumpkin, she had those squeaky shoes too, that squeak when you walk. It was funny.

Now for some info on Halloween! Halloween has its roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain. This was a celebration of the end of harvest season and also a time when spirits of the dead could contact the living, and magic was believed to be strongest. The traditions of this time has been passed down the centuries in Ireland, Scotland and other areas of the UK and eventually made thier way into other parts of the world as us Brits left their homeland for new pastures.

Today, dressing up in scarey costumes (not cute pumpkin outfits) is a homage to the tradition of the Gaels who would wear masks and costumes to appease spirits and demons.

Apparently, the whole pumpkin thing is an American influence. Traditionally in Scotland, children would make lanterns from neeps (thats turnips in Scots) and carry them around.

Also, apparently, Trick or Treating is also an American thing of more recent origin. It is thought to have evolved out of what is called "Guising" in Scotland and Northern England. When I was a kid we used to go out Guising every halloween. Basically you dress up and go round houses knocking on the doors. But instead of offering a trick or a treat, a guiser entertains the houseowner with a song, poem, magic trick or somethin. If they like you, you get some sweets haha. But there were no tricks involved. Noo we were good little angels.

So yeh, I think its amazing how these kind of traditions start, and how they spread, change and evolve over time. Very interesting.

Anyhoo, happy Halloween everyone, Im off out Guising! I hope I can remember that song I learnt....

Ken :D

PS! if anyone can spare the time, please give me some crits on this painting, thanks!: PAINTING FOR CRIT!


bog_art said...

Haha.. yes!! scary!!.. Thanks for the information about halloween!!.. and your strange behaviour is really really good!!..

Wynne Chen said...

Hee..Cute little pumkin girl is fun:) My little sister made the simliar pumkin suit before.

David said...

I like the bulk (volume) of the pumpkin costume. Isn't it funny how parents dress the little ones up in big, bulky costumes to walk around in? I hope she doesn't fall over, she might not get back up. Nice expression on her face too. Very serious with a bit of wonder! Love the history of the holiday too.

G1toons said...

nice illo and history, yeh i always tell people that we don't celebrate it back home the way they do out here, they go all out here

Andrew Smith said...

Hey, thanks for the comment, ken. This is a nice little sketch you have here.

As for the painting. It is looking really nice as well but here are some crits for ya.

The composition is a bit cluttered right now. Blur your eyes at the image and you will see what I mean. You have two main focal points in this image, the little critter on the cart to the left and the monster to the right. Right now the two glowy orbs on top of the poles are distracting from those two main focal points because they are very light against a very dark background (thus drawing your eye to them). The places with the highest contrast are where your eyes look first so you want to make sure that the most important parts of the image have the highest contrast.
You might try toning down the orbs a bit and making the furry critter a bit lighter. The monster will be fine once the orbs are toned down.

Also, the botton right part of the image feels a little bit awkward. For lack of a better word it makes the composition feel stiff. Try playing with the angles of the tracks so that they help lead the eye around the image not stop it.

I hope you do will in the competition!

Allyn said...

Great painting! You got great work on this blog! Happy halloween for yesterday, hope you had a great night!

The Pencil Assassin said...

My 2y/o nephew wore a similar pumpkin suit last Halloween. He looked like a little orange Phil Mitchell. The 'Strange Behaviour Part 4' painting looks great. A couple of minor crits about focus: The cart riding critter's eyes should be focussed towards the monster, at the moment they lead you out of the picture. You could also change the angle of its ears and tail to point towards the dreaded destination. Also, I think you should choose the illuminated monster as your main focus of light and darken down all other illuminated areas so that it stands out more. Hope this helps. Thanks for the kind comment and best of luck with the painting.

Will said...

I remember carving a lantern out of a turnip way back in the dark ages at primary school. I'm lucky to have all of my fingers! Pumpkins are way easier to work with.

Cool Sketch!

Kei Phillips said...

aww this pic is precious, she is sooo cute!! hope u had great Halloween :D

Roxanne Burchartz said...

Hey Ken thanks for passing by NXOR (my blog)
I love your stuff, great colour. It makes me wanna paint a lot more!
As for the little pumpkin girl, I can imagine her straight away, lovely she is.

:) Roxy

Nicocoa said...

reply: don't we all :)

victoria said...

adorable! great stuff on ur blog!

Ken said...

Bog_art: Thank you mate! Glad you like my strange behaviour, and my info about halloween :D

Wynne Chen: Haha it was very cute! Hard to walk though I think haha thanks for visiting :D

David: Yeh haha i thought so too. She had to walk around the town dressed like that. Hard to walk indeed! Thanks for your comments, much appreciated!

G1toons: Thanks dude! Yeh from films and stuff I reckon its much different over there! When did you move? did you move for work? Cheers for the visit!

Andrew Smith: No worries dude, and thanks! And thanks for your sound crits. Seriously, thats fantastic advice, I agree with it all! Ill be sure to impliment it. Cheers dude much appreciated. :D

Allyn: Thank allyn! cheers for visiting, much appreciated. Oh and happy halloween, i didnt really go oot guising haha :D

Will: Really??? wow! So you remember the good old days. I imagine a pumpkin looks better than a turnip also haha. Thanks will!

Kei Phillips: She was so cute. This pic doesnt do her justice! Hope u had a good one too!

Roxanne Burchartz: No worries mate! my pleasure. And thanks for your kind comments. Much appreciated!

Nicocoa: Haha why yes. yes we do. Its a good thing mind ;)

Victoria: Thankyou! much appreciated :D

Chio_Garu said...

Omigosh! That is the cutest thing I have ever seen (today).

Love the colours and I wish more parents would dress their kids as pumpkins when they go shopping...

Miss Piggy Lass said...

Wow!! Amazing costume!! Me want it for next halloween....:p. Love x

S.T. Lewis said...

How disappointing that the American contribution to Halloween was the "begging for candy from door to door" part. Not much of a surprise, though. We love our candy... and not working for it.

Fighter Jet said...

man u are awesome....great skill.

katarina (chocolat) said...

she is so cute! a wonderful idea ;)

Ken said...

Chio Garu: Yes it was cute! I would agree with you that parents should dress their kids as pumpkins more often, but I feel bad for the kids! haha

Misspiggylass: Sure thing babes! I got you one, in the post now! haha love xxx

Stlewis: Hahaha, well, why not! We might as well try snaffling some free sweeties while out on a cold halloween night :D

Fighter jet: thanks dude, much appreciated :D

Katarina: She was very cute! I want a daughter like that haha. If I wanted kids that is haha