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Monday, January 2, 2012


I couldn't come up with a New Years gag that I liked so instead I dug up this old rough of Krampus that I never got around to painting. Call it a belated Christmas image. I had this crazy idea of doing my take on the famous Jesus Knocking on the Door painting which I always loved for the Copro Nason Gallery 'Krampus' show a few years back. It was quite an honor to be asked to participate but I dropped the ball and never finished the painting. Oops.
Anyway, according to folklore Krampus is a character who shows up with Saint Nick on Christmas Eve in Austria and Germany I believe, and ties up all the bad children and takes them to Hell to be beaten for eternity with a special switch he carries with him.
All is not lost though; if you're one of the good boys and girls then you get lots of gifts from Santa instead!
Gee, do I want to have lots of cool gifts or spend an eternity with Krampus in Hell? Hmmmm... let me think...
My favorite Krampus post card is one of a Victorian girl who somehow has stolen Krampus' switch and is looking to beat him with it instead. Clever girl.


  1. Superb skilled drawing, Ted! I try to imagine how it would look if finished...

    Happy 2012!!!

  2. Wow, Ted! This is excellent! I like the blue you did it in - it Glows! This doesn't look like a rough at all - it looks quite finished in itself. I have to say, I don't like the idea of Krampus (I hate to think how believing in that might affect a child's mind), but this Krampus picture I really like!

  3. This is awesome, Ted! Really nice to see a different style, let alone some awesome sketching.

  4. Fabulous Krampus! Oh, those poor frightened eyes peering out from the basket... :-O

  5. These folklores are so sadistic ans scary. No wonder kids were better behaved. I know about dropping the ball on projects. I have a Sketchbook project I am not submitting because I am in no mood for it. I wasted my money paying for it.

    Man! You should be an illustrator of children's books!

    Happy New year!

  6. yes, it is a nightmare from my childhood: we , children, were very afraid to be taken to the hell.....( and that the reason I moved from Artichokistan to place I live now )

    But do you know where I can find him now? I need his help: some bastards took AGAIN my Mac.......

    Good drawing, try to find some time to finish it!

  7. Yes Ces, I agree, folklore can definitely be very scary and sadistic. I guess that's why I find it all so fascinating; hard to believe that it was normal at one time to raise children with that stuff. Aesops Fables were pretty scary, too. Thank you for the compliment!

    Artichoken; sorry they got your Mac again. Those who steal are low-life scum. You are above them and must be a good person because Krampus didn't take you away. We need a modern day Krampus who beats on thieves only and leaves children alone.

  8. lol now that is one way to keep your kids in line ;)

  9. I'm still laughing. Gotta love them Victorian-era Germans! Grimm, indeed! Nice illo, too, Ted.

  10. What Kostis,Gutterball,Jill,Mauricio,Curious,C.P.,
    art,you Ted and Elizabeth all said...Looking forward to coming here and you making me laugh all the way through 2012 (oxygen permitting)!!!!!!!!!

  11. Hi Ted, i love the juxtoposition of the scene, very clever.
    I am certainly glad I didnt grow up in Austria or Germany way back then (not that I was naughty of course... just worried for all those other little kids :P)
    Interesting reading too. Thanks

  12. Awesome illustration, Ted! I think you catch the ancient european style. Fantastic piece!

  13. haha, I have never heard of this lovely christmas character before XD
    Your drawing is really good, I wouldn't open that door.

  14. Interesting story. Wow, that is quite a scary story and a creepy looking creature. Krampus huh? Learn something everyday. Liking that Jesus painting a lot more now . . . whoa!

  15. I wonder if there's a Christmas character for completely neutral kids, neither bad nor good. Being good is hard to attain, so I would settle for neutral. Being sent to hell by Krampus would suck. You have a great sense of layout and composition. Gee maybe you can even do that for a living ;)

  16. O.k. Ted, this started conversations at work. A fellow employee told me about the movie "Rare Exports" a foreign film (with subtitles). This movie was interesting and drew me in. Nice cinematography and interesting music. It combines "Krampus and Santa" though. Check it out . . . not for those who believe in goooood Santa!

  17. i like Krampus, why not.
    at first i thought Krampus was one of 4 Princes of Darkness... he's not, but i still like him.

    i like gothic things... am i weird?

  18. It's certainly good to know that Krampus knocks. Do you suppose he wipes his hooves before coming inside? :)

    I first heard about the Christmas Krampus a couple of years ago. How hellish freaky is THAT?! I've seen those parades with fierce costumes and wee tykes getting all freaked out. Scary! There's also a custom in Japan where a demon comes to the house and frightens children into behaving for the year.

    Excellent, excellent drawing! Love the architectural details too. Now I have the urge to wag my tongue around and go blalalalalalalalaa.