Saturday, May 25, 2013

"I,ROBOT...ZOMBIE" Process

   The "Zombie" show at Last Rites Gallery starts tonight.  If you are in the area come check it out. 
Today we continue the behind the scenes look at making a robot zombie.  Here is my rough sketch.  
The palette wasn't worked out for the painting at this point. Mainly just working with values and playing with thoughts for the overall concept. 
A photo shoot with a model was scheduled soon after completion. 

After the shoot I realized I would need much more information to pull off a painting of a robot with splayed open flesh.  The next day I started sculpting a reference maquette. 
A proper level of imaginative realism was needed for this to look somewhat convincing. So I believed my painting would succeed or fail based on the level of finish given to the sculptural details.  Way too much unnecessary pressure!
resting in a pile of miniature garbage bags

With the sculpt baked, lights were set up to re-shoot my reference for the painting.

Half way through I realized that there was no info for how hue changes from 3 light sources would affect the flesh or metal finish I wanted for the chest.  I could have made it up while painting but I’d already come this far…

So after getting some advice from a professional sculptor for DC comics, and a bit of nervous procrastination I started painting a maquette for the first time. There is a great anime model kit shop near my house that had all the needed supplies.

I sprayed an even flat base coat over the maquette and painted the flesh in acrylics.

The metal parts were painted with gold and silver metallic paints.

Once dry, I sprayed the whole thing with a clear semi gloss coat.  Clear nail polish was used for a more glossy liquid look around the eye. 

 This was almost a second option for my composition. I loved the hue changes across the skin from the light sources.
                                              I'm no Jordu but I think it came out ok.

With all this information, combined with many photographs of intestines, zombie faces and scrapyards, I proceeded with the final line drawing and then the painting.
 Thanks to artist, Brian Despain for all his advice while developing this image.  Every once in awhile it helps to have an objective eye look at your art.  The reception is tonight so I'll post pics for those interested. 

Hope all this helps someone out there. Questions, comments? Drop me a note.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


ZOMBIE Opening Reception at Last Rites Gallery
Saturday May 25th 7pm -11pm

                                                                              I, ROBOT... ZOMBIE
                                                                             16"X20" oil on panel

"It can be hard for an android to find love...
One day Henry the Labor bot decided to pay for a low end model Hooker bot
and contracted a nasty trojan horse virus known as Cerebus.
Cerebus rewrote his operating system and reprogrammed the lonely android with an insatiable desire to kill all humans.
The virus spread quickly from mecha to mecha, all turning on their owners, murdering humans by the masses.  After a long bloody human resistance, the city of Newburgh, New York was quarantined as a techno-biohazard zone and has become a dumping ground for infected robots.  Somewhere in the twisted remains of his positronic brain, Henry spends his nights wishing he had paid for a human hooker instead.  Sadly, Robosexual relations between humans and robots are illegal."

Good News Everyone!  This original oil painting was created for the upcoming Zombie show at Last RitesGallery in New York City.  When guest curator, Travis Louie invited me to participate in the group show I knew exactly what I wanted to paint.

My idea of painting a zombie robot lurks in a largely untapped sub genre within the popular zombie craze.  I thought if I go this route, it’ll be on the fringe of what is considered a zombie but it should also be pretty cool to paint.

I’ve never done a gallery show before so I got really excited and maybe a little carried away with the prep work for the piece.  Since this could be the only gallery show I ever get invited to I didn’t want to phone it in or do something half assed.  The next few posts will chronicle the making of this painting leading up to the opening reception this Saturday night.  

Here are a few details.