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.  


  1. These images are really cool!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Nace. Glad you like them.

  2. Hey Eric,

    Yours was one of my favorite pieces in the show. Great opening reception the other night. Had a piece in the show as well. Was great to be exhibited alongside such cool and diverse pieces.

    1. Hey Thanks Michael! It was a fantastic time. Hope we get to do a show together again soon.

  3. I like the idea if building a small maquette out of Sculpey (or similar) foe reference. I'll have to give that a try sometime.

  4. I like the idea if building a small maquette out of Sculpey (or similar) foe reference. I'll have to give that a try sometime.