My take on the Grim Reaper. I don’t think Death necessarily needs the hood and robe and scythe, I think he’s more than that. I like making Death much more menacing and ferocious than he’s usually portrayed. Don’t get me wrong, I like how Family Guy and Adam Carolla show Death, I think he’s hilarious. But I also think that’s some of what can diminish or reduce Death to seeing the robe and blade and as nothing more. So I thought I would take those symbols away and show him less human, less gimmicky and less familiar. I wanted his skull to be changing and grotesque and take away the possibility of conversation or reason with Death but show him as a cunning and ferocious monster, a beast that is in no way compromising.
I started with a Sharpie outline that I had drawn and left alone for a year. It was just an outline that I had planned to complete in Sharpie with stippling and hatching and block sections of black. After working in ballpoint pen so much recently I decided to take this outline and start using the softer, more detailed medium of ballpoint pen:
I kept combining ballpoint pen with ink:
The jaw and teeth were especially delicate work with ballpoint pen. My favorite areas to display the cracks in the bone.
Then came the rest of the side of the skull, the ear hole and the neck. More opportunities to remove humanity from the being
I decided to give him a black background, to make him seem even paler and noticeable. I think this version of Death required the darkest treatment
You can find this Grim Reaper on my Redbubble and Fine Art America pages. I must say I’m so thankful for the overwhelmingly positive and welcoming response on Redbubble. All the views, features, comments, sales in such a short time have been so amazing. Thank you to all the supporters and I’m so very glad you all enjoy this piece!!
Now, I usually like to draw Death as a much more terrifying force than most people ever show him as. I’ve painted and drawn him in various beast forms (and I will show them in time). But I haven’t always treated him like a hideous monster. In fact, here is a very old drawing on the back of a school worksheet in college where Death is much more laid back than I currently draw him: