Thursday, October 30, 2014

Being an Artist


Being an artist isn’t easy, it can be fun, but making a living is a real challenge sometimes. I paint windows for stores, teach painting and drawing classes, and teach at a local college that is closing soon. (sadly) I illustrate, do graphic design work and occasionally build something for someone. Sometimes I think I should do something else to make a better living, but being an artist is who I am and it is very hard to not be who you are.


The Hound

The Hound is a tale by H P Lovecraft about a creature chasing a couple of grave robbers in an effort to punish them for defiling a cultist's tomb.

Last Year

Last year we planned a camping trip that was blocked by a powerful storm that could produce tornados, so we stayed at my friends place and told stories, watched movies and ate and ate some more. It was a lot of fun even if our plans didn't work out. Every year I try to create an illustration that captures the feel of that year and for last year I picked a Halloween tornado.

Dreams in the Witch House


Dreams in the Witch House is one of my favorite works by H P Lovecraft, I created this prop with that story in mind. She is a favorite of many of my friends and I plan to build her two sisters based on other stories.

Beautiful Vampire

My lovely girlfriend and I went as vampires this year. She looked great.


All Them Witches

Ethan Black Arts 2005 ©

In 2005, created this coven of witches for my yard haunt. They are long gone, but I plan to build two more witches to go with the one I have.  They will be ready for 2015. Yep, already making plans.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Watcher

The Watcher is one of my attempts to create fine art photography and is one of the creepiest things I have done in my opinion. I plan to create postcards with this image in the future. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween 2005

Long ago I took photos of my early yard haunts with film. These are my favorite photos to come from that time. I have many more to be shared another time.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Devil Takes a Witch

The Devil Takes a Witch Ethan Black 2010 ©
I created this illustration for an art history report that required us to write about two pieces of art that influence us creatively. I chose the film Haxan and the sculpture The rape of Persephone. The marriage of the two resulted in this illustration. This project is one I am very proud of, I enjoyed doing it and it is the type of illustration I would like to do more of.
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) is directed by  Benjamin Christensen, the film shows witches in the Middle Ages and is very creepy. The imagery is strange and dream like with nightmareish and oddly erotic images. My imagination is awakened by this film easily.
Rape of Persephone, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1622-1625 is an amazing sculpture that depicts Hades taking Persephone in a pose that I used to inspire my work for this illustration. In doing so I was trying to draw attention to how our myths evolve, merge ad change and how Christianity’s Satan is connected to the older religions deity’s and myths.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fine Art?

I love fine art and Hallowe'en, but I rarely see the two meet. I try as best I can to merge the two in my work. I paint, draw, take photos, sculpt, and get mixed results. I hope you enjoy this image of a scarecrow I built for my parents a few years ago. He has fallen apart and is sadly no longer with us. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Golems come in all shapes and sizes and all can trace their concept back to an ancient tale, The Golem, from Jewish mythology. The animated clay man who when not correctly controlled runs amuck. This is also the origin of Frankenstein's monster.
This golem is based on the one from Jewish myth and was drawn for my book on mythological creatures. More on that another time. 

This golem was designed for a short story about a candle maker who's son is wrongfully executed causing the father to create a monster to exact revenge on the conspirators.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014


This prop was a combo static prop and fogger. I plan to make a tutorial for it soon. 

Candy Beast

I am always looking for new things to turn into monsters. This is just one more horror to add to my collection.

The Horseman 1 of 13

I started a series of digital paintings and I plan to work my way through all thirteen ghosts I want to paint. The first was the traditional horseman. My version is a blue flaming skeleton on a skeletal horse swinging a fiery chain. I think I was influenced by a few sources including the Headless Horseman and a poem called Daniel Webster's Horses. 

Daniel Webster’s Horses
Elizabeth Coatsworth

If when the wind blows
Rattling the tress,
Clicking like skeletons’
Elbows and knees,

You hear along the road
Three horses pass,
Do not go near the dark
Cold window-glass
If when the first snow lies
Whiter than bones,
You see the mark of hoofs
Cut to the stones,

Hoofs of three horses
Going abreast—
Turn about, turn about,
A closed door is best!

Upright in the earth
Under the sod
They buried three horses,
Bridled and shod,

Daniel Webster’s horses—
He said as he grew old,
“Flesh, I loved riding,
Shall I not love it cold?

“Shall I not love to ride
Bone astride bone,
When the cold wind blows
And snow covers stone?

“Bury them on their feet,
With bridle and bit.
They were good horses.
See their shoes fit.”

Ghost II


Ghost 2012

Yard Haunt 2014

things are progressing nicely here as we start to build the haunt. We have a ton of work to do, but it looks good so far. I don't want to show too much. It will look best when it is all lit, and foggy.

Our mail box guardian.

One of the bodies in the tree.

The Ghost

I built this guy a few years ago. We are having a lot of storms this year. I hope he holds up. I also am a big fan of creepy poems, so here is one for you now.


I am almost afraid of the wind out there.
The dead leaves skip on the porches bare,
The windows clatter and whine.
I sit here in the quiet house. low-lit.
With the clock that ticks and the books that stand.
Wise and silent, on every hand.

I am almost afraid; though I know the night
Lets no ghosts walk in the warm lamplight.
Yet ghosts there are; and they blow, they blow,
Out in the wind and the scattering snow.-
When I open the windows and go to bed,
Will the ghosts come In and stand at my head?

Last night I dreamed they came back again.
I heard them talking; I saw them plain.
They hugged me and held me and loved me; spoke
Of happy doings and friendly folk.
They seemed to have journeyed a week away,
but now they were ready and glad to stay.

But, oh, if they came on the wind to-night
Could I bear their faces, their garments white
Blown in the dark around my lonely bed?
Oh, could I forgive them for being dead?
I am almost afraid of the wind. My shame!
That I would not be glad if my dear ones came!
Fannie Stearns Davis

More Spider Stuff

Just pics on this one folks. 

Spider how to

This is going to be real basic for now, I have a full schedule and do not have time to be detailed.
You will need the following
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Tin snips
  • Masking tape
  • Assorted latex paints (Whatever colors you want) 
  • A styrofoam egg and ball, size is up to you. (I used the 48mm egg & 76mm ball)
  • wood shish kabob sticks
  • Fake pearls (for eyes)
  • Metal wire
  • paint brushes (duh)
  • Sharpie marker
  1. Take eight shish kabob sticks and drawing guidelines on them to make the cuts even.
  2. Use the snips to cut them and keep the segments organized. Then cut the wire to the length of two legs, leave enough room for the spiders body to set between them. 
  3. Tape the segments to the wire in the order shown below. The legs need to be thoroughly  covered in tape. Bend at joints to desired shape.

    4. Cut another stick to drive into the two styrofoam balls to hold them together. The egg on should be impaled the long way. 
    5. When all the legs have been created, use the masking tape to tie them to the egg and to cover the surface of the ball and egg.
    6. Use hot glue to strengthen the legs connection to the body and to add texture to the surface of your spider as desired. 
    7. Paint the surface of the spider the desired base color, I used a very dark purple. Let it dry and then paint it too look like a spider you like the look of, or use your imagination. 
     8. Hot glue eyes onto the spiders head when the paint has dried. 
     9. If you would like to add hair you can use paint brush bristles or fake fur ad just hot glue them on. Also you glue on a fishing line if you want to hang it. 

Be very careful with sharp objects and the agonizingly hot glue gun. Have fun, and happy haunting my friends!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spider Demon

I have been playing with ideas for a spider monster for my haunt this year, I want him to be smaller than a man, but far bigger than a normal spider. I have a few design ideas in mind and haven't picked one yet. Not sure I can get done in time anyway. Busy, busy, busy.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monster Mountain

I was hired to create this logo for a local haunted attraction this year, It was fun to make and I am going to visit the haunt and get my T-shirt next week. I think it looks nice, it was hard to make all the elements they wanted not look like too much. 


Agatha was my first full size build, the original was rather simple but nice enough for a thief to take her. So I built Agatha 2.0 I had grown a lot as an artist and her design became far more sophisticated. I think she turned out wonderfully.                

She is wearing my aunts wedding dress. 

Her jaw moves and her eyes light up, when I change her batteries. (almost never) 

Agatha loves a walk in the graveyard. 

When I was in school she posed for my drawing class.

Best pals. 

A Little Introduction

For anyone new to my blog, I am a monster maker, an artist, illustrator, animator, and a little bit of a freak. I might get slightly off subject now and then, but for the most part everything you find here will be horror/Halloween/creature related. I love these things and always will. 

I have been making monsters for most of my life on paper or in sculpture form, I have worked on television, film, and in print. My work has been shown on The Martha Stewart Show, and Ancient Aliens. I also work as a freelance illustrator and teach digital media and animation. 

The new plan is to start sharing how to make props with you. I plan to make both written and video tutorials to help you haunt your own house. I am always happy to hear any ideas or opinions on my projects, so talk to me people! 

I think that is all....probably not.