Sunday, October 3, 2010

Now You See Him, Now You Don't

It's October, and Halloween is on its way. So I can finally start posting some of these monster-themed images I've been stockpiling during the summer.

A little history: The first "grown-up" book I ever read as a child was H.G. Wells' Invisible Man. I read it before I ever caught Claude Rains unravelling himself in the 1933 film. So the inspiration behind this illustration is one part Rains to three parts overactive imagination of a 10-year old who's suddenly afraid to go down into his family's laundry room for fear there's a homicidal invisible man lurking in the shadows.

Now if, at first, this seems like an unconventionally cute and cuddly Invisible Man to have sprung from those memories, then mission accomplished. It was intended to be cute and cuddly because it's one of the doll designs I've been doing for a fiber artist friend of mine.

I've already posted my designs for her Red Riding Hood and Granny Wolf art dolls. But this time I'm also posting the finished Invisible Man doll. That's him in the photos in both "visible" and "invisible" stages. That isn't me goofballing around with Photoshop either. Right from the beginning I thought it would be fun to design an Invisible Man doll that really turned invisible. Sort of like a horror/sci-fi action figure made out of wool. I really like the way it turned out.

And, apparently, I'm not the only one who likes this doll. The friend who constructed it entered it in the Living Felt International Felting Contest (2010) and nailed a Third Place Win! Woo-hoo! Chalk up another long-range benefit to my childhood nightmares! I'll be posting more of these doll designs over the next month. But if you're itching to see more photos of the Invisible Man doll, finished versions of my Red & Wolf designs and some other fantastic wool creations, check out my friend's blog at

For anyone who enjoys seeing some of the process, I've posted some work-in-progress steps below. The first image is the quick notebook sketch/color notes I scribbled during dinner one night. Early on I still planned to give him the fake flesh nose that he has in the story, but I decided it would be too confusing -- "If he's invisible, how's come I's can see's his nose?" Idiots. The second image is just the uncolored linework. -v

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