Be thankful I don’t have any Sisters of Mercy albums or black eyeliner…
So, I had this idea, kind of inspired by reading about Leonardo’s anatomical drawings, and 40 years of watching horror movies.
First. I aged some paper. This was just some bog-standard A3 cartridge paper. I tore the edges to roughen them up, and crinkled it a tiny bit. Then (when my wife was out) I filled a tray with black instant coffee and soaked the sheet in it. Then I lifted it out and, from a height, I sprinkled a little coffee powder onto the wet surface and let it soak in to create darker spots. Then I popped it into a slightly warm oven until it was nearly dry but a bit curled up. Then pressed it between some sheets of paper under a heavy book until dry and flat.
Then I gathered appropriate materials. The main drawing was done with a Derwent Line Maker 0.1 Sepia. And the writing with a Derwent Artists ‘Chocolate’ coloured pencil, which are a decent match for each other.
Next. Sketches. I started with the skull. Initially I made some minor modifications to a normal human skull:
But then I started thinking. Even though it is bad for me. I decided that vampires, being nocturnal, would have big eyes. So I widened the eye sockets and strengthened the area around them. I also widened the nasal passage a little. Creatures with heightened senses also tend to have big brains, so I increased the height of the cranium.
Vampires, of course, have no need to chew food, so I weakened the lower jaw and removed most of the back teeth:
Moving on to the hand. I used my own hand for a model. Before you freak out – I did extend both the digits and the fingernails considerably:
Then I transferred it all to the aged paper. Initially by tracing very faintly with a graphite pencil, before inking it in with the Line Maker:
Then I decided to add an extracted canine tooth:
I was done with ink at this stage. I wanted more control (and erasability!) for the writing. Writing neatly is torture for me, let alone in a specific font and another language. My friend Sarah tried not to be too offended at my first draft and kindly offered to tidy up my Latin (considerably):
Finally, I added a few vampiric looking symbols. All of the writing and symbols were ‘faded’ by going over them lightly with a putty eraser.