The Raven

*Project by Autumn @ It’s Always Autumn for the Halloween Challenge of season 13*

When I was ten or eleven years old, my parents bought me a paperback copy of The Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. I started with “The Tell-Tale Heart” and by the time I got to the end of the story I was completely hooked. Seriously, it was cool. A guy murders an old man, buries him beneath the floorboards, and then is driven crazy when his guilt tricks him into thinking he can hear the dead man’s heart beating beneath his feet. Awesome, right?

As I got a little older I started to appreciate Poe’s stories and poems for more than just their macabre coolness. I liked that Poe could be creepy without actually being gross, and I began to fall in love with the language. Enter “The Raven”:

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotte lore…”

For my Halloween-themed craft I designed a 24×36 inch print that showcases the eerie poem “The Raven.” I used antique fonts and a variety of free digital brushes (tree, bird, ink splat, watercolor, and distressing) to create a literary art piece that makes a perfect Halloween decoration.

In order to fit the entire poem on the print, I varied the font size on different lines, at one point taking the font down two points each line, then back up to create a size-ombre effect.

I printed the piece out at Staples as an engineering print, which only cost $3.50. Since it was so cheap, I inverted the piece (so the background is black and the type is white) and printed it that way as well. Both versions are adhered to the front and back of a 1/8 inch piece of MDF from Home Depot (under $5), so I can choose to display either side. I completed my Halloween scene with candles and a string of leaves from the dollar store (both painted black) and a few pumpkin accessories.

[credits: Fonts: Caslon Antique Italic and CK Maternal; brushes: Eerie Pack by Wyckedbrush, Crow Brushes by Zememz, Ink Splats by Shoefly, Dried Blood Splatter by Vexingart, Stains Brush by Aridane, Edgedestroys5 by Wedgewolf; Digital Overlay: House of 3; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0]


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