The Shadow

The Shadow, dark spooky portrait drawing by Nela Dunato

In Jungian (analytical) psychology, the Shadow represents an unknown, dark side of the personality which the conscious Ego rejects. It contains repressed ideas, desires, instincts, and weaknesses. Jung claimed that we tend to project the contents of our own Shadow onto other people, and blame them for things we’re not able to accept in ourselves.

The Shadow appears most readily in dreams and visions, and facing one’s Shadow kick-starts the process of individuation. Or that’s what Jung claimed, at least. It’s an interesting idea to consider.

“Psychologist Carl Jung believed that in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.”

Carolyn Kaufman, PsyD

The original sketch for this drawing came from an old 2013 sketchbook, and it represented a character from a dark fantasy graphic novel I was working on at the time. (I barely started that project, let alone finished it.) As I came upon it with fresh eyes, it meant something else to me this time.

I recorded the process video from sketch to finish, you can watch it in episode 8 of Nela’s Art Chat: The truth about dark art + spooky colored pencil drawing process.

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