Saturday, August 30, 2008

How To Make A Monster (Again!)

Here's another example of the three main steps in creating a glaze oil painting. Luckily I "documented" these steps while creating these paintings, so that I can actually show the process instead of describing it. A picture is worth a thousand werewolves. I mean words. The subject this time is the iconic, craggy features of Glenn Strange as the Frankenstein Monster, specifically from ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN.

The sketch and simple tones are the most important steps. This is the time to make corrections regarding proportions in particular. It's a lot easier to fix drawing errors during these early stages than it is to fix later.

Next is the application of thicker paint - just Burnt Umber and Titanium White - to create a tone painting. Since it will be glazed, we'll keep the middle and dark tones about two shades lighter than normal. Corrections can still be made at this point, but you'll wish you had done them earlier!

Once this monochromatic stage is completely dry, the glazing stage can begin. Using "transparent" colors such as Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Indian Yellow with a glazing medium, the color is layered on the existing tones. The result is quite striking, and very different from a traditional oil painting.

If you're wondering why my signature is so is because the painting was so small! The actual canvas was only 5 x 7 inches, and was sold during my Gallery Show in October 2006.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lycanthropy and Me

I have always loved werewolves. The character of Larry Talbot, The Wolf Man, was my first monster, and I've always felt a certain bond with him. Perhaps because he was just a regular guy with extraordinary bad luck. Most cinematic lycanthropes suffer from the same scenario, or at least the best ones do. Here are a few of my favorites, rendered in various mediums...

Oliver Reed from CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, sketched with charcoal pencil

Lon Chaney Jr. and Elena Verdugo from HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, graphite pencil.

And Chaney again, this time in simple pen and ink.

Even an artist who is pure in heart...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


My friend Mike Schlesinger (Rondo Monster Kid Of The Year and producer of THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN!) provided me with this shot, taken at the conclusion of my demo at Wonderfest, discussed in the posts below. Thanks Mike!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hail, Caesar!

At Wonderfest I was asked to demonstrate my sketch techniques by drawing Charlton Heston, a cinematic hero in the eyes of many WFesters. I honored that request, and did a caricature of Big Chuck as Col. Taylor from the original PLANET OF THE APES. I had one hour, and I had left my reference photos back at the hotel. Thankfully, a gracious vendor and Linda Harrison ("Nova") came to my rescue, lending me a few of their stills to work from. The piece came out fine, and was sold at one of the WF charity auctions later that day (so I don't have a photo of it to share we you here).

It occured to me that day - as I was once again drawing Heston - that I haven't drawn enough apes. I should draw more apes.

This is the kind of stuff that goes through my brain.

Bottom: From 2000, Maurice Evans as the crafty Dr. Zaius.