Creating a Sense of Dread

Monday, April 4, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Creating a Sense of Dread

When sketching dark art, sometimes it is good to not sketch out a fully macabre, gruesome scene, but instead set the tone with an emotion of dread or uncertainty of what is to come.  Using erratic linework can really create a sense of foreboding along with exaggerated body parts and extreme dark shading in just the right areas.  This fear developing type of artwork can be used to tell a story, possibly along with a series of other sketches or artwork, or it could be used as subconscious setting for a much larger masterpiece.  So, lets examine two interesting pieces of sketch art that involve giving the viewer a sense of unknown dread, or uncertainty of future events.

The sketch on the left is a facial sketch that I, myself created of a bad guy who looks like he is just about up to doing something of a criminal nature.  The shading around the eyes, or the raccoon eyes, really gives the person more of an ominous look.  Looking at them, you may even subconsciously be thinking of the wrap around eye covers with holes that you sometimes see of cartoon burglars in past comic strips or animation.  This kind of subconscious thinking is what drives the imagination into creating sort of story for the piece, and maybe one might choose to add in more details along the way, such as a hand holding a knife or a gun up to the viewer.

The sketch on the left is a sketch by an artist by the name of Maryam Savoji.  It shows a person who seems to be running through what seems to be an everlasting dark tunnel towards the faint lights at the end.  In this picture we have sort of an off-center perspective which I think adds to the feeling of uncertainty, along with some ominous linework in the foreground which seems to magnify the emotion.  I also want to mention that the size of the individual running is very small, which to me sort of gives the person a sense of being small or vulnerable in relation to the darkness or dread which is following.  This sketch makes the viewer ask the question, “what is it that is following that person?”.  So the story seem to be a mystery in this case.

Maybe you can come up with some stories of your own based on these two pictures, and be inspired to create your own path of how these stories might proceed.

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Category: Art

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