Monday, August 22, 2011


Recent life drawings. The first is a 1 hour digital study done at a class with my tablet PC.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How NOT to collect photo reference

Or how I nearly fell off a cliff at Kaaterskill Falls.   I made a photo reference trip to Kaaterskill falls in NY awhile back for the big Ronin oil painting I planned to do.  Kaaterskill is the largest 2 tier waterfall in the state and an hour away.  After seeing old Hudson River school paintings of the area I knew this was where I needed to go for reference shots.   During that trip I climbed up to the second tier for more pics of the cascading water and vegetation.  Coming down from that level I slipped on wet red clay, fell hard and nearly slid off the side of the mountain (about a 40ft drop).  I now know the visual difference between wet and dry red clay.   It wasn’t a shear drop.  I would’ve bounced off a few trees and hit a boulder or two on the way down.   I laid there for a moment convinced I had broken my coccyx, and then carefully worked my way back down.  Some hikers who saw me staggering back to the main path gestured me over.  One of them happened to be a Nun.  Not just any nun, a nun studying to be a nurse and who just happened to go hiking with a first aid kit.  She bandaged me up and blessed me before I set off for home.  If you’re out there, thank you Sister Monica. 

Here are photos of Kaaterskill Falls and a panoramic view of the second tier. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


“There is an ancient samurai legend that tells of the greatest of all samurai.  A master warrior said to be more beast than man, with four katana wielding arms and lightening speed.  The legend states that he who finds this master will be showered with riches, given the strength and skill to vanquish any foe, and be granted eternal life.  Yet only if the seeker defeats the master in mortal combat.”    I wrote this little back story to inspire a painting of a Ronin being pointed in the direction of THE master.

This is the biggest painting I have ever done so far.  32"x42" oil on panel.    A lot time went into the prep stages for this.  I decided to weave meso american, Maori, and Japanese influences into the design instead of the typical European motifs found in high fantasy. Illustrator/Sculptor Daniel Horne gave me some good tips for sculpting the reference of the ancient creature's face and torso.  The ancient was originally going to be completely nude and wrinkled but the idea of shriveled old boobs resting on the man's shoulder wasn't too appealing.   My 97 year old great grandmother served as reference for the turkey neck and gnarly fingers.   Thanks granny!   It was fun to paint and a welcome break from the digital work I normally do.

I came so close to giving this creature "Total Recall boobs" you know what I'm talking about!

ancient process sculpt

Captain’s blog supplemental:  For those who don’t know:  "Ronin" is a Japanese word for a wandering Samurai....or a master-less Warrior. Not a master warrior mind you, but one that has no master.  He may be a renegade of sorts, one who has lost the protection of his clan or society because of some indiscretion or another. His family may not exist anymore...and that is why he has lost his honor and decided to wander. He is a man unto himself, with only himself to answer to.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Robot Nation: An Outdoor Installation for the 21st Century | Norman Rockwell Museum

"Butch" The Constructo Bot chewing on Nova
Last month I had the pleasure of traveling for the first time to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA with fellow Hudson Valley artists James Gurney, His wife Jeanette, Mary Sealfon, Kevin Ferrera, Susan Voss and her son.  Susan also brought along her little robot pal Nova for this special event. 

 Artists and craftspeople working in all media were invited to submit proposals for an exciting summer exhibition of sculptural robots, inspired by Blue Sky Studios’ blockbuster 2005 film Robots. Three-dimensional, weatherproof, outdoor robot submissions will be exhibited on the grounds of Norman Rockwell Museum through October 31st. 
If you’ve never seen a Norman Rockwell painting or a giant robot up close then you owe it to yourself to make the pilgrimage.

There is no photography allowed in the Blue Sky Exhibit

After a long day Nova needed to take an oil leak

For more info check these links:

Robot Nation:An Outdoor Installation for the 21st Century | Norman Rockwell Museum

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

BATMAN: Heart of ICE

I don't know how many of you watched Batman the animated series, but I loved that show.  So when an editor at DC asked to see more of my work I decided to create a few pieces including this montage style poster based on the Emmy winning episode of BTAS titled "Heart of Ice".  I tried to capture the mood and palette of the episode while also giving a hint at what the wife of Victor Fries looked like before her terminal illness.   "Mr. Freeze, thirsting for revenge against the sleazy CEO who destroyed his life, begins to steal various equipment from GothCorp. Batman's sympathy is with Freeze, but first he has to stop him from using the equipment to destroy a building filled with innocent people in order to carry out his vendetta. "  12"x18" 300 dpi digital.    

I also played with the design of Freeze's costume since there really is no definitive suit.  I combined the design from both BTAS and the suit design from the latest show "The Batman".  It didn't make sense to me for a guy in a thermal suit to be running around in spandex so I tried to go for something more real like a modified astronaut EVA suit.   
Dr. Victor Fries - "Think of it--- To never again walk upon a summer's day with a hot wind in your face and a warm hand to hold. Oh, yes, I'd kill for that."

Mrs. Nora Fries -"This is how I'll always remember you--- surrounded by winter, forever young, forever beautiful. Rest well, my love. The monster who took you from me will soon learn that revenge is a dish... Best served cold." 
Ferris Boyle 
In my version I froze him up to his neck. He doesn't look cold enough here.

I was working on a wonder woman piece just before I started designing for BMG.  I’d still like to finish that one too, time permitting.  If nothing else it’ll just be fan art for me.