Category Archives: Drawing / Painting

The Works of Lora Zombie Present Vibrant Colours, Inspiring Designs and Skulls


Girls Loves Skulls – Lora Zombie

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been particularly interested in Lora Zombie, a painter / illustrator from Russia who has created a series of colourful, eclectic designs that are combined with influential icons and pop culture references. At first I was amazed by the artist’s intricate style including the high level of detail or craftsmanship as well as the dripping paint that oozes towards the bottom of each individual painting / illustration.

According to Lora Zombie’s official website, the artist is internationally renowned through various social media platforms, blogs and exhibitions within Russia and the United States. I decided to search through Lora Zombie’s inspiring online portfolio and I have recently discovered that the skull is a popular symbol within the artist’s work.

Zombie’s illustrations are often categorised as ‘grunge art,’ however there is limited information in regards to this particular style, this is definitely something I’ll have to research later down the track; from a personal perspective, Lora Zombie’s work features a similar appearance to graffiti art.


Puppies and Skulls – Lora Zombie

‘Girls Loves Skulls’ for instance features a young girl embracing a large multicoloured skull within the centre of the image. This is one of my favourite illustrations by Lora Zombie; the combination of vibrant colours and paint splatters create a remarkable, yet dynamic style that successfully delivers a playful, optimistic approach towards death and the human skull, this is just my personal point of view anyway.

The visual aesthetics provide a level of curiosity and fascination; the skull in particular becomes a significant focal point that instantly attracts the viewer’s attention. The bold, vibrant colours compliment the contour of the skull as well as the young girl on the left hand side; her plain white dress along with her black, knee-length socks provides a dramatic composition with the other elements within the image.


Pugs and Skulls – Lora Zombie

The young girl appears to be rather excited or pleased to be holding this multicoloured skull that features a rather concerned expression. The refined detail definitely provides the subjects with a unique personality that are emphasised through the loud, vibrant colours as well as the harsh brush strokes.

There is another work in particular that has captured my attention; Lora Zombie’s ‘Puppies and Skulls’ is colourful, playful and absolutely gorgeous! The name summarises the work pretty well, this illustration features at least three colourful skulls that are surrounded by a range of adorable puppies, this is such a cute, yet artistic combination.

‘Pugs and Skulls’ also features a similar style and aesthetic; the work features a pile of small multicoloured skulls that are integrated with a crowd of energetic puppies, this is just too adorable! I could honestly write about the artist’s work for hours, as I thoroughly enjoy the humorous, yet comical twist within these imaginative designs. Overall, Lora Zombie’s work delivers a high level of creativity and innovation that is combined with a lively, yet vivacious characteristic.

If you would like to view Lora Zombie’s portfolio or website, just click on the links below.

References (Images from Facebook)

Jessie Riches Part II


Vampire Girl, Jessie Riches

A few months ago, I discovered the works of Jessie Riches while I was walking through the shopping centre in Geelong. Ok I know this is a pretty strange place to find an artwork, although I have recognised a painting by Jessie Riches in the front window of a book store. I’m not entirely sure whether Riches artwork was reproduced for display purposes, although I must admit the painting featured some extraordinary colours and designs.

The painting features the skull and cross-bones juxtaposed with a dark green background along with decorative patterns and designs. I would always walk past this particular book store and I always wondered who had actually created this painting / design, one day I decided to actually stop at the front window and I recognised Jessie Riches’s signature at the very bottom.

Unfortunately I have taken a photograph with my old phone and for some reason I never saved the actual image. Anyway, I decided to research Jessie Riches on the internet at home and I discovered that the skull was a popular image within the artist’s work. According to Riche’s website, the artist has worked with watercolour, acrylic, pencil, digital media and graphic design, Riches is also a tattoo artist and I have realised that these particular designs do provide a unique aesthetic.

In a way, Riches has merged her tattoo designs with her graphic / digital art, Riches’s “Vampire Girl” for instance, features a rather obscure character who is composed with two cartoonish skulls that are placed within the centre of the image. The remainder of the image features intricate patterns and designs that creates a strong contrast with the mysterious character; the juxtaposition between the rose, the skull and the tombstones may symbolise the border between life and death.

The illustration also reminds me of tattoo art especially the juxtaposition between the skull and the rose; these two particular designs do appear very popular within the tattoo industry; I must admit, most of the tattoos I have seen either feature a rose, a skull or a dragon. Riches work also features very strong, vibrant colours that emphasises the detail within the background, such as the graveyard and the tombstones.

In fact Vampire Girl does feature a high level of detail, each time I view this particular illustration, I always find something interesting or fascinating. There is an obvious connection between the vampire, the graveyards and the skulls, although I do not fully understand how the rat or the tarot / playing cards relate to the other elements within the image. Actually this is a good thing, if everything was obvious there would be nothing new to discover, the ambiguity invites me to take another closer look at Riche’s artwork.

The visual aesthetic, the subject matter and the meaning is surreal, even the vampire’s long pointy ears and her sharp teeth feature very surreal characteristics. Jessie Riches’s has produced some extraordinary work and some intriguing designs; I would recommend visiting the artist’s website for more information. If you would like to read the first half of the story, please click on the link below/

Andrea Benge


Everybody Wears a Crown – Andrea Benge

Amazing Skull Paintings by Andrea Benge

While I was browsing through the internet, I discovered the works of Andrea Benge, a contemporary artist who works with watercolour and coloured pencil. I have noticed quite a lot of skulls within Benge’s work and the colourful illustrations adds a stylised aesthetic that I do find visually interesting.

The style and the subject matter within Benge’s paintings also reminds me of tattoo art; in fact these particular artworks would make amazing tattoo designs! These paintings are very similar to the  designs I have seen displayed within the tattoo parlours across the city.

In “Everybody Wears a Crown”, Benge has juxtaposed the skull wearing a multicoloured crown along with colourful paint strokes and paint splatters that adds a very interesting effect to the overall image. In a way Benge has combined beauty with morbidity through the artist’s technique; the paint strokes deliver a vibrant and decorative appearance that contrasts with the grimacing skull within the very centre of the artwork.


In Depth of Grief – Andrea Benge

What fascinates me about this particular artwork is the paint that seeps from the eye sockets; in a way the skull appears to be crying and the paint distorts the original context or symbolic meaning behind the skull.

“The Depth of Grief” is another painting by Benge that features decorative patterns and swirls on the forehead of the skull that is juxtaposed with a blue rose; the designs are very similar to the colourful hand crafted skulls from the Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration. During the festival, celebrants decorate wooden, ceramic and papier mache skulls that establish a reunion between the living and the deceased.

The painting also reminds me of the Momento Mori, a 15th century art style that confronted a person with their own mortality. The skull was often juxtaposed with clocks, hour glasses and other still life objects; in a way Benge’s work is a contemporary version of the Momento Mori!

These two particular artworks are my favourite from Benge’s collection, they’re bight, they’re colourful and they have skulls, what more could you ask for!

For more information please click on the link below.

Interview with Psychobat by Dead Deco


Image Retrieved from the Deco Deco Site, Link Attached Below. 

8/2/13 – Day of the Dead Image by Psychobat. Ink Pen turns Photograph into a Work of Art!

While browsing through the net, I discovered a very interesting interview with Mexican artist, Psychobat by Dead Deco. Dead Deco is a very interesting blog that features articles, images, photographs and interviews relating to the Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration. In this recent interview, Dead Deco asks at least five different questions relating to the artist’s own connection to the Mexican Day of the Dead that is described as a joyous and celebratory event; an event that honours the lives of those who have passed away.

According to Psychobat, the Day of the Dead is not a celebration that perceives death as a subject of fear and anxiety; instead, friends, families and members of the local community gather to celebrate the deceased. It is interesting to read the perspective of an artist who has lived in Mexico and it is also interesting to discover the artists own interpretations relating to Mexico’s Day of the Dead Celebration.

The interview features an image of Psychobat’s work that does feature similarities to the Mexican sugar skulls that are also associated with the Day of the Dead celebration. I must admit the amount of detail is just incredible; the various patterns and designs transform an ordinary image into something rather extraordinary!

The interview briefly mentions the artist’s own professional practise and technique in the very last question. Pyschobat had discovered a photograph of a model that was spontaneously covered in patterns and illustrations in order to create something different.

On the left hand side of the image, I have noticed a black sharpie pen and I was amazed with the way the artist has produceed such a creative and innovative design with just one black marker. Psychobat has even managed to create tone and gradation that is quite difficult to achieve with a sharpie pen, so I do admire the artist’s own method and technique.

It is interesting to note that Psychobat has used a photograph of a model that is covered in black pen; in a way, the artist has transformed this particular form of advertising into a work of art! I actually prefer this image compared to all the fashion magazines sold at the supermarket or the bookstore; in fact if I saw this particular artwork in a magazine, I would be rather excited! The endless photographs of photoshopped and airbrushed models just gets tiring and frustrating; it’s fantastic to see something different, something interesting!

The interview does explain Pyschobat’s own cultural and spiritual heritage with the dead that does correspond with the artwork that is currently displayed on Dead Deco’s site; I wonder if the image resembles the artist’s relationship with the Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration.

I am assuming that Pyschobat has used a page from a magazine and the artist has used the pen in a way that manipulates the original image into something creative and imaginative. Psychobat hopes to apply these particular designs onto a real human face and I can’t wait to see the results.

If you are interested in Psychobat’s artwork or the Day of the Dead celebration, I would recommend visiting Dead Deco’s page for further information and there are some other fantastic articles to read through. Dead Deco also has a pinterest page if you are looking for some inspiration.

Latest Graffiti Art in Melbourne


3/2/13 – Skull used as Graffiti 

Last week I was walking through Melbourne, where I discovered the most interesting graffiti design in a ally way. As soon as I recognised the skull, I immediately walked into the ally way and I was amazed by the different colours, patterns and designs. I’m not too sure who the artist is, although It is interesting to see this particular design on my way to the station.

The skull also creates an interesting composition with the different patterns, especially within the background. The design is quite different, it isn’t like anything I have seen before. The use of tone around the eye sockets and the jaw is incredible! The different colours also create a level of vibrancy that is almost impossible to avoid if you are walking down a dull, grey alley way.

Melbourne is simply fantastic for graffiti art, there are just some days where I just walk around the city looking for graffiti. To me personally, graffiti is just as valuable as a painting hanging within the gallery space. I don’t just mean tagging, I mean the amazing graffiti art that immediately captures your attention from the other side of the road. The kind of graffiti art that makes you stop what you are doing all together, have you ever experienced that before? I have all the time, I become so inspired by Graffiti art; it just makes life so much more interesting that’s for sure.

So if you are looking for some amazing graffiti art for inspiration, I would recommend a day trip with a few friends, take a camera and just walk around Melbourne, I guarantee you’ll find something!

Jessie Riches

3/12/12 – Mexican Sugar Skull by Jessie Riches

While walking through the Geelong shopping centre, I had recognised a painting from a local artist known as Jessie Riches who has painted the skull and cross bones with bright, vibrant colours and intricate patterns. The painting is currently displayed in the front window of a book store in Geelong Westfield, from my most recent visit, I decided to undertake some further research into the artist.

Jessie Riches is a local artist in Geelong and her website explains that the artist specialises in painting, design and illustration. Riches bio also mentions that the works on display are inspired by tattoo art. When I viewed Riches work for the first time, the use and colour as well as composition did remind me of tattoo art.Riches work also reminds me of pop art surrealism, the bold patterns and the vibrant colours definitely provide the artist’s characters with unique characteristics.

While searching through the artist’s website, I did come across a painting / illustration of a young woman with the Mexican Day of the Dead skull painted onto her own face. This work in particular presents certain elements from the Mexican sugar skulls that is quite distinctive from all the other paintings, illustrations or photographs I have seen. The face paint is quite subtle and the patterns do compliment the roses that appear to have been tattooed to the woman’s neck.

The different colours and the patterns definitely captures my attention, to me the painting presents a unique juxtaposition between tattoo art and the Mexican Day of the Dead. If you are interested in Riche’s work, please click on the link below to visit her artworks.


Abort Magazine

Shawn Barber, Burning Inside 

1/9/12 – The skull in Contemporary Art and Popular Culture

Yesterday I decided to search through the internet and I discovered “Abort Magazine” that had displayed a range of images or photographs from different artists. Abort Magazine also has an online website and a blog that provides information about each artist including recent exhibitions, publications, collections and artworks. According to the website, Abort magazine is a “canadian magazine” that explores different sub cultures such as pop, rock, punk and street art.

Abort Magazine is described as a “counter culture magazine” and from my own recent observations, Abort magazine features certain updates that relate to contemporary art, design and popular culture. According to the Readers Digest Great Illustrated Dictionary, Counter Culture is defined as “A culture created by or for the alienated young in opposition to traditional lifestyles, values and assumptions” (Readers Digest, 1984)

Chris Peters, Into the Blue 

Is the image of the skull apart of the counter culture? It could be argued that the skull is emerging into the mainstream market and the consumer culture. Faye Dowling argues “The skull has emerged as one of the most recognisable symbols of today’s visual landscape” (Dowling,2011) In the 21st century, the skull has become almost impossible to avoid within Melbourne’s urban environment.

I have been blogging everyday for the past six months and there hasn’t been one single day where I have managed to avoid the skull. Even the internet and social networking sites, such as Facebook have used the skull for commercial purposes.

Carrie Reichardtt, Mad in England, 2011

In the Abort Magazine there is a strong reference to the skull and the macabre in exhibitions and contemporary art spaces. The Last Rites Gallery for instance promotes artists that explore the macabre and the grotesque. There are at least two artists from the exhibition that explore the iconic image of the skull through traditional mediums such as oil paint. Shawn Barber and Chris Peters both present dark and sinister representations of the skull through the use of tone, shape and composition.

Abort Magazine also features the works of Carrie Reichardtt who has created a collection of ceramic plates that juxtapose the skull with British icons. Abort magazine explain that the artist has referenced the “Union Jack and the Royal Family” within her work that are combined with skulls and skeletons. In one of Renchardtt’s ceramic plates, the skeletal figures are dressed in elegant outfits that provide an amusing interpretation of the Royal family and Britain’s cultural identity.

Brian Berliner, Dead Che 

The Abort Magazine  has also displayed the works of Brian Berliner who has created a three dimensional skull in the form of Che Guevara. The sculpture is also distributed through a commercial toy company that is also known as Frank Kozik. One could argue that Brian Berliner may have been influenced by the pop art movement through the use of bright complimentary colours that is used for the packaging. The packaging itself is very unique and the stencil art that is used may refer to urban street culture.

Abort Magazine always provides information about emerging artists or exhibitions and the website has provided an insight into different styles and art forms. The website is definitely worth checking out if you are interested in Pop Art, Street Culture and Surrealism.

Abort Magazine, 2012, (Accessed 1/9/12)

Abort Magazine, “About Page”, 2012, (Accessed 1/9/12)

Last Rites Gallery, (Accessed 1/9/12)

Dowling, Faye. The Book of Skulls. Laurence King Publishing Ltd, 2011 p. 7 – 13

Readers Digest, “Counter Culture” Readers Digest: Great Illustrated Dictionary. (Boston: Lexical Databases 1984) p. 397

Image Citations:

Abort Magazine, 2012, (Accessed 1/9/12)