I have had an acute fear of spiders for as long as I can remember. I really love all types of creatures in the world, but spiders have always just freaked me out at level below my conscious mind. It’s like an involuntary reaction which I can’t stop.
I’ve only been bitten by a spider once and it was in adulthood long after I’d already developed the phobia. It was a false widow bite (I found the spider that did it when it fell out of my trouser leg and got it identified.) At first it was just two little bite marks which stung like a bee sting. Then my leg swelled a little around the bite, making a swollen patch about 10cm across, like a huge nettle sting. At that point I took some antihistamine and over the next day or so it all calmed down and went back to normal.
In the last few weeks, to try to reduce this phobia, I’ve been looking at Spider videos on You-Tube. The fear hasn’t gone away but I am now more aware of which kinds of spider bother me. It’s really only the black or dark brown ones which are medium to large, like the giant house spiders and false widows, tube web spiders and whatever other medium to large black or dark brown little eight-legged nightmares come into people’s houses.
What I did find from watching these videos is that I don’t mind tarantulas that much and I really like jumping spiders. So much so that I found one on my car while it was parked in the staff carpark at school the other day and was able to catch it and look at it before it jumped off to go about it’s business!
So I decided to draw a jumping spider. I began with a sketch which I did in bed one evening. (I draw most of my sketches in bed. I need to go to bed early every evening because of the pain I have. Once there though, I find keeping busy the best way to manage the pain until the pain meds kick in, hence the drawing. Apart from the eagle and the siphonophore most of the drawing’s I’ve published have been done in bed.)
Next I added a basic wash to give my spider some base colour.
Then, with a small brush I began to add detail first as patches of colour here and there and then later in the form of tiny little hairs.
As I worked from front to back on the legs I used weaker colours and shades so that the spider would have some depth. Here’s the final image…
I think I’ll call him ‘Spike’.