“Lucy, Bitten” by Helen E. H. Madden, 23 January 2011
After doing all those brightly colored sketches on the iPad, I really wanted to do something a little different. Using what little I know of color theory, I decided on a palette of light green, dark red and creams. This gave me a more subdued painting with a minimalist approach. I opted to use ArtRage’s watercolor brush this time instead of the pen tool. The watercolor brush is more transparent and picks up the texture of the paper, where as the ink tool doesn’t seem to reflect the grain of the paper at all. I also used the airbrush, chalk and crayon tools, but mostly this was done with the watercolor brush.
I like it. I wanted something more ethereal and I think I got it. As I worked on it, it made me think of Hamlet’s Ophelia, and I almost titled it that. But then after I painted the rose, I realized I needed to add the bite marks, and that changed Ophelia to Lucy from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” I have never been able to read through “Dracula.” For some reason, that book just drags for me. But the character of Lucy has always hung with me. Poor Lucy. A bride who died and then had to be killed again. I think that was the only part of the story I really liked.