Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Black Valentine

Hello all! Holidays are over, stress levels have returned to normal, manageable levels and I have a new piece to share! This coming First Thursday (2/5) I will be part of a Valentine/Anti-Valentine's Day group show at The Pony Club in downtown PDX. When they asked me to join in, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a fake detective novel cover, which I've wanted to do forever. I'm a huge fan of old pulp covers, and while there isn't a huge market for that style of work, painting grizzled detectives and femme fatales all day is still my not-so-secret dream job. The first thing I had to do was come up with a title, and because of the show's theme, "The Black Valentine" seemed to fit pretty nicely.

Generally speaking, when I do stuff like this I try to change how the models look, so my characters aren't specifically attached to any real person, but Erin looked so badass in the reference photos, she is now officially the Black Valentine:

If you've seen any of my recent posts, you'll know I've been experimenting with gouache a lot lately. While the Robot piece a few posts back was technically my first complete painting (background and everything) using the new medium, this one is my first full size illustration using it. The original painting is 11"x16.5" and while gouache certainly speeds the process on those small paintings (as compared to my usual medium, oils), I found it took pretty much the same amount of time when scaled up. There are a lot of benefits to working in gouache over oils — less toxicity, quicker drying times — but there are also quite a few drawbacks. I found it more difficult to get smooth transitions, and much like acrylics (which I hate), colors tend to dry a significantly different color than when applied, making color mixing a challenge. All that being said, I'm pretty happy with how this came out and am excited for the show. I'll leave you with the FINAL final version with some extra campy text applied digitally.

MURDER!!!! (Lobo is named for our friend's dog)