Ardent Shadows

Gothic Fantasy paintings by Jemima Mantle


dark art

The Threads of a Dream

So a little later than planned, here’s the full image of ‘The Threads of a Dream’. For the longest time I couldn’t title this piece but in the end I realised, it’s not so hard, I just had to think about what it means to me. The artist’s real gift is the ability to a visually express ideas, dreams, and emotions. My hope is that in this painting others might find a visual representation of something they’ve been feeling or thinking but are perhaps unable to express. One of the joys of art is that everyone can interpret the meaning differently and take away something different from the experience of seeing it.

I have recently quit one of my ‘day jobs’ to spend more time painting and creating. I think this is the perfect piece to celebrate this exciting time and many possibilities ahead. Prints will be coming soon, email for information.

thread_master to share.jpg

4 Days To Go

4daysZombie texture added I can now start going back into the figure and tightening up the shading and details like the fingers. You can also see where I’m starting to develop the pumpkin and build up more of an idea of how all these different elements are going to work together!

5 Days Left…

5daysAnyone who remembers last year’s piece, or has watched the Halloween YouTube video I released at the start of the month, will know that giving the figure a textured zombie appearance is a big part of creating this character. It is however, an effect that is built up over stages. Today’s photo shows the first step towards the zombie skin is painting the base colours and loose shading.

Halloween is here!

I’m really pleased and excited to share my new video. This is the painting I did for Halloween last year and it’s taken me until now to process the raw footage but I think it’s more than worth the wait! I’ve actually found it really useful to revisit this painting and look at all the techniques I was experimenting with for the first time. It was the first time I’d done many of the things you can see in this video from doing a kind of under-painting, right through to applying paint without brushes. Sadly many of these techniques that actually proved very effective had actually dropped out of my thoughts so completely that I had forgotten some of the things I’d done in this piece. So personally I’ve got a lot out of creating this video and I think this is pretty exciting! What do you think?


The Final Reveal


This painting has been a long journey. I started with just a vague idea that centered around a gas-mask with mouse ears and started painting with just a drawing of the figure. The colour scheme also grew from experimentation. Looking back I think it would have been much quicker if I had started with a finished design however I know that the finished product would have been very different. As it is, I think I’ve created a strong painting which is packed full of lovely little details.

Over the last months of hard work I’ve discussed a lot of issues around this painting and I’ve learned a lot through the process. If you love this piece and want to know more about it’s creation and concept I invite you to look back over the last previous Sundays. I think there might be a few little tweaks left to make, but overall I think I can finally call this piece finished. I’d love to hear what you think about it.I feel that there is an untold story here which makes the piece as intriguing as it is unique.

And so to the finishing touches…

And so to the finishing touches… almost time to call this one done! #gasmask #fetish #painting #wip #wrd #darkart Counting down to the final reveal.

This week is very obviously ongoing from the quote I shared two weeks ago. This proves that some thoughts and ideas stay with you. I wasn’t planning to revisit this idea but this is what came out of me this week. I like however that it’s moved on and become something else. I feel like if you look back over previous week’s post you can see my thoughts developing and changing as the project rolls on. 

The Ghibli fans amongst you will recognise some little tree spirits. It just felt right. It was feeling like a very tranquil and natural scene that was coming together whilst I was drawing. It felt like Ghibli tree spirits would live there.

It’s Halloween Tomorrow!!

So I’m very excited to be able to share this special Halloween painting with you all! It’s been tough working to a strict deadline but I’ve had so much fun creating this glam zombie. I’ll release some more detailed pics later but for now please feel free to share this e-card to wish your loved ones a very happy Halloween.

I hope you all have a wonderfully spooky weekend!


Exploring Video

I recently began filming myself painting with the intention of producing ‘painting in progress’ videos. It has been a steep learning curve and if I’m being honest, setting up and maintaining recording equipment can be rather obstructive to the painting process. To date I have produced two different videos which explore its use in different ways.

The first video I released was actually the second painting where I used a camera and is in time lapse style. I therefore had some experience of which technique to use and how to set up my equipment. Comparatively it was much easier to produce this style of video. Step 1: Mount the camera in a set location and in an unobtrusive place, and Step 2: Paint. If it wasn’t for the short battery life of the camera, which necessitated several breaks in recording, it would have been a fairly low effort task. It took me a good few hours to prepare a work space suitable for recording but this is something I hope to overcome with the completion of my studio. Also upon reflection I should have mounted the camera in the same direction of the light to reduce ‘bounce’. It was however immensely enjoyable to view the results and compile the video. I’ve also received very positive feedback from people who enjoyed viewing it.

But I am most excited about the second video which I am posting here for the first time today! In many ways this was more problematic and it took long hard hours of video editing to put it together. As it was a completely new adventure I decided to experiment with several different camera mounts and camera positions. This meant I had to carefully edit footage from each individual angle and occasionally I found that after hours of editing, some footage was just not suitable for inclusion. What I have created through this experimentation however is a video which I feel is most interesting. Different views and speeds intermixed with stills and sweeping panning shots keep you interested as the painting develops.

I was surprised to find that one of the most successful pieces of video is towards the end where I’m repainting details of the skirt. I put this down to the experience I had already gained at this point both in real time filming, but also as it was the last section to be edited. I cut out sections of whole piece, then sped up individual clips in order to create an ever moving, constantly evolving piece of video which has both a good pace, and level of detail.

I consider the creation of these videos a project in its own right and something which is very much in its infancy. I have a lot to learn but I am excited to meet the challenge and look forward to creating videos of my future paintings. After all, what better way to capture the creative process?

So without further ado, I present the video for ‘Sense of Self: Faith’

Faith on Youtube
Faith on Youtube

And in case you missed it, you can see my ‘time-lapse’ painting here:

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