Oct 28, 2011

Haunted Portraits




Haunted paintings where the eyes follow you are pretty cool. So one Halloween about, oh, five or six years ago, I decided (with the help of my sister and our mom) to make a couple portraits as Halloween decorations – complete with moving eyes. We had some old frames in the garage that would be perfect, and this was back when we were really doing elaborate Halloweens at our parent's house.

I figured out how you do it, is just set the eyes back further within a cutout, and for some reason from whatever perspective you view the portrait from it seems like the eyes "follow" you. I actually painted the eyes on a clear piece of plastic (like from a bakery box lid or something handy) and backlit them with white battery-powered twinkly lights, so at night, the eyes also lit up.

The style of these were definitely inspired by my childhood Victorian phase. The three children are a nod to me and my brother and sister.

We actually did these in one day. Because we may decide to whip up a project on the fly every once in a blue moon (or full moon in this case), but we also like instant gratification, so it's not like these are meticulous by any means – just a whimsical way to spend an October day.

But I do love to stare at them every year. And I love how they always return the favor.


  1. Thanks Ashley! Our dad would say, "if this branding thing doesn't work out you should do Halloween portraits." That's his catchall phrase for everything we do that's fun or cool, ha!

  2. I'm gushing over this. I read crap on blogs all day long. I never want to stumble or tweet any of it. I want to promote everything you write and create. Remember me when I'm still trying find my niche. haha!

  3. Thanks Jen. I will take "gush" over "crap" any day. Though when I write those two words together like that it doesn't paint as pretty as a picture as I did that day.