Velan Studios Velan Studios Blog

Tip of the Brush

An Exquisite Corpse

Various Artists — March 22, 2019

As the editor of our ongoing Tip of the Brush column, I have the privilege of working with all manner of talented artists across the studio. This week, we're pulling from all corners of that talent— and taking a break from our usual structure— to bring you this, an Exquisite Corpse!

An Exquisite Corpse is a type of drawing exercise where multiple artists contribute their work in sequence, with no established outline, and in some cases, with only limited knowledge of previous elements. For our spin on this experiment, we brought together seven artists and split them into two groups. Using the theme of "Troy, Community, Inspiration", we asked each artist to take an hour, doodle their contribution, and pass the drawing on. Here, in their own words, is a breakdown of the process (and its zany results).

Corpse 1, a.k.a. "Nightmare Scheme Monumental"


"I don't like themes very much, so I drew the first thing that came to mind after I read them."


"My favorite place to go in Troy is the local ice cream shop. I added something to remind me of them while they're closed for winter."


"My first AH! moment for me when I came to Troy was the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Monument Square, so I gave Christopher's character a horn from that statue. The wings are from all the crows I saw on and near that statue. It was awesome!"


Corpse 2, a.k.a. "Uncle Pen Ghost Draw"


"I went with the obvious approach of Uncle Sam* and added a curved shape to him. I also sketched 'Market Block' on his sleeve, as it is an iconic landmark when entering Troy from River Street."

* Editor's Note: The city of Troy, where Velan is based, is believed to be the hometown of the original "Uncle Sam."


"I thought James's Uncle Sam looked like the embodiment of a superpower, so I used it to power up a Velan artist. I get 'powered up' on Saturday mornings by visiting the Troy Farmers' Market and the plant store next door."


"The New intrudes upon The Old.

"From the faint ghost of Brother Jonathan to the aging grime of the now, change asserts itself. Almost a hundred years ago, Henry Garner's Liberty Street Presbyterian Church was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Now it's a parking lot. Fire destroyed the Burden Ironworks, but a devastated community held on and new Laborers will take their place! Very different jobs will arise to sustain this community.

"We will collectively carry our ghosts forward."


"For me, Troy represents a return to home (for myself) and a return to form (for the city). The Green Island Bridge is the icon of this feeling for me, as I cross over each morning heading into the studio."



These images represent only a portion of Velan's awesome team of artists, and we can't wait to bring you more Exquisite Corpses. If you have suggestions for our next theme, let us know on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time!

This week's column was a collective effort of numerous Velan artists. For more from Velan, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.