Religious art

I started to draw when I was quite young. Some would say I was artistically-inclined. I believed even then that God had given me these skills for a reason and I felt that the very least I can do is to create art that could help strengthen and renew people’s faith in God. So, while I was still studying in a Catholic school, I volunteered to be one of the school-boy artists for our school’s parish church.

Our chruch had three main entrances and, if I recall correctly, there were at least two entrances with a big blackboard beside the entrance. Our job as volunteer church artists was to draw a biblical scene based on a relevant Bible verse for that week’s mass. We would letter the actual verse on one half of the board and draw the matching scene on the other half of the board using coloured chalk. We took turns at who gets to draw and letter on which board. I had to stay later after school to do this but I didn’t mind one bit. I believed that I was using my God-given artistic gift to good use and it felt good.

Studying in a Catholic school meant we have Religion classes. I didn’t mind. I liked the stories and the lessons I learnt during these classes. The other thing I like about these classes were the textbooks. They were very colourful and it had lots of art in it drawn in a particular style that I really liked. The style used was well suited for those Religion books, I thought. I even imitated the style when I drew on the Chruch boards.

Now that I’m grown up, I still feel that God is calling me to make religious-themed art. That’s why I had drawn a few artworks a few years ago that is related to the Passion of Christ. Sad to say, I haven’t drawn anything similar since.

After winning the Artist of the Year prize in our Company’s art competition, I start to feel God’s call again. And so, here I am again.

I already started to draw my version of The Annunciation thinking that it may be appropriate for this coming Christmas season. After thinking about it some more though, maybe a Holy Family portrait or scene in the manger work would be more appropriate. So I’m putting the Annunciation work on hold for now.

Coming back to the art style in those old Religion books, I was thinking that maybe I can imitate the style again for the thing I’m planning to draw for Christmas. However, I don’t have access to those very old textbooks so I have to rely on memory alone. Before anything else, I first wanted to try if I can pull of the style or at least come up with a style that has a similar feel to it. So, I drew this piece: The Tax Collector.

I originally drew this with a ballpoint pen on my notebook at work as a doodle to help me clear my mind during the large amount testing that needed to be done with the system. When I got home, I took a webcam photo of it then inked it in Painter IX.

The art style of those textbooks had strong lines, a bit angular and the people always faced straight towards the reader even when looking to the side (the artist just tilts the head and points the eyes in the direction of what the character is looking at).

Now that it’s done, I think it came out well. I’ll probably do some more trials before actually starting on the real piece I want to draw.

Published in: on November 14, 2007 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment