Friday, July 24, 2009

From The Vault - F-14 Tomcat Pilot 1995

Since the "Space Trucker" piece from last week seemed to go over so well I decided to pull another painting out from that period.

At the time I was doing a lot of airbrush painting for Marvel comics and was probably looking for some way to branch out and do something new. Actually starting my own self-published comic book was a few months to a year away. I'm sure I wanted to start it but doing a full comic book is a huge undertaking and I don't think I was ready yet. So, I started painting more.

I have a feeling some of my paintings at the time were geared with an idea to doing video game covers. A lot of the games I was looking at had great paintings as covers and I thought that might be a neat avenue to explore. Of course, this was the pre-internet days so I had no idea how I was going to find anyone within the video game industry to give me work. Maybe someone would walk by my window one day when I was painting, see what I was doing, stick their head in, and offer me a job. But, living on the second floor, that never seemed to happen.

One of the things I was playing with at the time was doing ghost images in the skies. I'd draw my figure's head out and then, using just black dye, airbrush and paint his head in a nice gray monotone pattern. When I was happy with that I'd paint the sky in and the dyes of the monotone painting would show through. Another pass with some white acrylic paint through the airbrush and I'd put in the highlights. Then it was just a matter of going in with a brush, some paint, and maybe a bit of colored pencil, to give the character some detail. It's a really neat technique and I used it a bunch of times during this period.

Now, using the computer to do an effect like this would probably be too easy. But, back then figuring things out like this and trying them was always fun and creatively fulfilling.

So, if any video game people are passing by this blog and want to give me a call about doing some covers, now you know where to find me.