Once Upon A Dream…

I was thinking about what to draw next and took inspiration for this artwork whilst re-decorating my room. It all happened when I came across a dream catcher, which I felt the urge to add to my existing collection. (I’ve always been a fan of dream catchers and have often contemplated getting one tattooed on my skin). 

Dream catchers typically comprise of a wooden circle, covered by thread, which is woven in an intricate pattern and finished with precious items, such as beads and feathers hanging from the bottom of the circle. 

The Dream Catcher originated from native America and is thought to have been invented by a tribe, with the purpose of protecting it’s young from being harmed. The concept of the dream catcher became more prevalent, as tribes began to expand across the country and tribe leaders could no longer watch over the infants of the tribe. Consequently, in the absence of tribe warriors, dream catchers were woven by maternal figures, such as mothers and grandmothers and were hung above a cradle to protect infants from being harmed in their sleep. 

Originally, to make the dream catcher, two spider webs were woven into the circle of the dream catcher. Spider webs were used, since their properties are such that they tend to trap and take hold of anything that comes in their path. Using this logic, it was thought that the spider webs in the dream catcher would trap any harmful elements in the air and provide a form of protection. This explains why the thread pattern in modern dream catchers happen to look similar to that of a spider’s web. 

Also key to note, is the circular frame and how it represents the constant flow of life; through the way the sun and moon orbit the earth in a continuous loop. Similarly, the number of different points on the dream catcher are thought to symbolise different meanings. For example, a dream catcher with 5 points is thought to resemble a star, whereas a dream catcher with 13 points is thought to represent the 13 different phases of the moon. 

In modern times, the dream catcher is said to have the purpose of catching good dreams and filtering them through the feathers to the person below. This is in addition to protecting that person from incurring bad dreams, through the motion of catching them in the ‘spiders web’. Now dream catchers can be seen across a variety of items including jewellery, phone cases, home decor etc. and are made from various different materials.

About the art:
I decided to draw the classic dream catcher but with an added twist, through combining the semi-circle of the dream catcher with a floral pattern. I then added in some detail using lines and dotting (‘stippling’), to add shading and dimension. 

I was glad to find an excuse to use my new sketch pad and drew this only using a pencil and some fine liner pens (0.3, 0.8 and 1.0 thickness). I am pleased with the result; in hindsight the only thing that I would have changed is that I would have used a circular object to draw around for the outer ring of the dream catcher, instead of chancing it freestyle, as I did above.

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What would you like me to draw next? Comment below 🙂🕷

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