This is a piece of work inspired by the hilariously terrible yet amazing surreal montage art on the cover of Choose Your Own Adventure game books, and the box art of Atari games.
First I was shown this brilliant art done for Panic Software and the style reminded me a little of the covers of Choose Your Own Adventure books.
The Choose Your Own Adventure books often featured strange montages of monsters, caves, forbidden lands, children dressed in 1980s fashions running away from smug heads in the sky....the Giant Floating Head seemed to be a common theme. You can see some of the book covers here
This features my brother's head in the sky, the other objects have nothing to do with anything, they just feature frequently in this style of art for some reason. I am definitely not as good with watercolour as the artist who produced the magnificent Panic Software artwork, but all in all it's a bit of fun.
I'm not sure how this came about. I think a friend of mine drew a picture, said it was bad (it was actually a very good drawing) and I decided to show him just how infinitely worse I could make a picture of the same subject - so I drew the same thing first holding a whiteboard marker in my mouth, then holding it in my foot.
This, for some reason, got me thinking. Since a lot of artistic training is in the mind rather than in the hands, how would it be if you used something other than your dominent hand to draw? One's mind still works the same way, one still knows how to draw, but it's difficult to get, say, your foot, to work the same way as your hand, even when recieving exactly the same instructions from your mind.
There was only one way to test this. To draw exactly the same thing in 5 different ways.
The last one is important, not a blind drawing, completely blindfolded, so I have no idea what colour I'm using, where the paper is, I can't look at the reference if I use one..etc.
This is also done with oil pastels - hell in itself. A decidedly crappy medium, I have no idea how anyone gets any sort of detail with these.
Well it's got that characteristic left-hang-wiggliness about it, but instead of looking like a "bad drawing" (read no grasp on anatomy) it looks more like a drawing done by someone with parkinson's disease.
Once I started holding the brush in my molars instead of my front teeth, this wasn't too hard at all. You do have to use a brush though, it's near impossible to use a media that requires any sort of pressure. I tried with a pastel first and since my face was about 5cm away from the page I quickly scrapped that idea.
Got off to a good start with the face, and then..my foot got tired. You can forget this one.
I think this one isn't helped by the fact that the media meant I had to take the brush off the page and I lost my place.
So Ok, that was that then. But unicorns are rather too easy, what about doing something I'm a) not used to drawing and b) working from the same reference.
So I chose a beetle.
So we can obviously draw the conclusion that it is possible to do a competant line drawing using a brush held in one's teeth..but what about a proper drawing, with colouring and detail? I decided to try that out, using a picture of Aphex Twin as the starting point. (I'm not a fan of Aphex Twin, but I think his..persona, if you could call it that, is hilarious.)
I can pick up the paintbrush to put it in my mouth with my hands. I can use my hands to change brush size. However, my hands cannot make a mark on the paper. I have to wash my brush and change colours using only my mouth.
So I had to do the sketch in watercolour, as opposed to pencil, due to the whole pressure thing.
One problem with the lame watercolours I was using.. no black. I tried to use a black inktense pencil to get me some more black, but that wasn't terribly easy to control with my teeth...
And finally, finished! Well, considering I used my mouth I think I did a pretty decent job. Now that's it, and hopefully onto some more serious art.