Postcard 6: The Arboracuda

Postcard 6: The Arboracuda

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This illustration began as ‘forest demon’, imagining something predatory and imperceptible until it strikes. It’s loosely inspired by the classic Giant Worm in films like Dune, Tremors and Beetlejuice, but influenced more by marine predators such as eels and the barracuda – it became an ‘arboreal barracuda’. It’s a turn away from friendly (or at least benign) forest monsters like the Ents and Huorns, reflecting something vast and unknown.

The birds were included to add urgency – this creature is big and loud, certain to startle anything nearby. A wary traveller would pay attention to the behaviours of the wildlife. If something’s disturbing them, it is probably best left undisturbed.

That bark texture took a lot of patience, involving many layers of dark ink on white. That use of detailed rhythmic texture obviously owes a lot to HR Giger and the Alien series, but wood is obviously different to skin & bone so involves many small strokes rather than elongated & translucent forms, though there is a nod to that Giger Alien look in the eyeball.

“Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity. A survivor… unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.”

Tread lightly, in these dark woods. What moves beneath your feet will feel… will feed?

Also flying dirt is a nuisance.

Acrylic on greyboard, 162 x 238mm

Daler Rowney FW acrylic inks:
Black, Sepia
W&N Galeria acrylic paint:
Titanium White