The dark clown is what emerged from broad brush strokes of ink, an ink wash, and a touch of water color which I used to stain the inkwash.  I was going for a kind of noir vibe.  I love Frank Miller stuff.  I don’t think I was even going for a clown initially just some bold dark brush strokes with some intensity, expressiveness, and contrast between light and dark.

The archetypal clown to me is a grotesque exaggeration and is something positively creepy in that we never actually see  their faces. The clown hides behind his paint and makes no bones about being an in-your-face distortion.  I am also certainly not the first nor the last to consider the irony of the clown whether sad, evil, or in my case dark.

So why did today’s sketch of the day end up a clown at all?  How did a study of light and dark with a bold and expressive intention become this?

Honestly, I’m finding myself momentarily lost in thought and feeling like I am all over the place in explaining something simple.  Quite actually, I see a sereneness in my dark clown noir that I find peaceful.  It is more authentic than ironic and grotesque, and only ironic by piercing through the expectation of irony.

Actor Lon Chaney Sr. once said, “there is nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.”  He was right of course, but at the moment, I am more interested in whether there is something true.

More Clowning Around: