My Zombie Husband

Title: My Zombie Husband
Year: 2011
Medium: Graphite & Colored Pencil
Size: 8.5″ x 14″
Notes: This was originally a character design with a focus on rendering realistic folds from a collection of reference photos.  In cases like this, I applied my understanding of fabric and folds in this to make an unnatural body with broken limbs look realistic – this character was based on four distinct poses to give the impression that the zombie had suffered several broken bones.  I also took the opportunity to tell a story with this design.  I then scanned the pencil drawing and digitally painted it, which adds additional elements such as the time of day and mood of the scene.

If you look for the clues, you can learn more about this particular zombie.  Even though his ring finger is half-bitten off, he still wears his wedding ring.  He’s missing a shoe, perhaps he was turned when he was getting ready for work one morning.  Most people wonder what the role of the raven is.  Is it and its flock assisting the zombies by circling above human prey?  Did the flesh in its beak come from the Zombie Husband’s cheek, implying that the zombies will eventually be consumed by the ravens?  One viewer wondered if the ravens were created by the remains of the US government to combat the zombie threat.  But is the red glint in the raven’s eye suggesting that it too is a zombie, or is it merely a reflection of the gore around it?

This character was based on my husband (who was a fantastic sport modling those awkward poses and giving me great zombie faces).  If there’s any special meaning in that, I suppose it’s that I don’t want him to ever die…and I do mean ever. : P