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Han Fucking Solo

I’ve been resisting Star Wars fever over the past year. Completely.  Oh, I’m up on the spoilers for the movie. I’ve seen the trailers and the international trailers and what not. They come through my Facebook feed courtesy of my nerd tribe. But getting actually excited? Not so much.

Let’s face it, the prequels were awful. And by prequels I mean the first one (because I never bothered watching the others). Which I had to see twice because I was excited and was there on opening day. And cruelly disappointed. And then I had to see it with work because the whole office went. Such torment.

So I *want* to be excited but I don’t want to be so let down.

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But the Japanese trailer had some fun footage in it. And I am a closet optimist. And Han Fucking Solo was awesome in it. So I was driven to paint.

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I really, really wanted this painting to turn out. As a kid, all I ever wanted to be was Han Solo. He was six kinds of awesome and had the baddest ship around. I still would chose him if I were to be anyone in the Star Wars universe. Um…yes please!

So I started this painting strong. Working with definition from the start using black.

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I still did the whole back and forth with the layers of colour. The reference material I prepped had more colour and less white than other paintings but I felt like it worked well. Han has an intensity to him that demands representation. In this case it was through the use of colour.

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It’s hard to see my heroes grow old. But we are all on that journey and as I painted, I didn’t make any effort to hide his age. Sure, we all want our youth, but being old(er) doesn’t remove a person’s worth. And, let’s face it, this is Han Fucking Solo, who is a badass at any age.

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For this painting, I pulled out a ton of new colours including iridescent blues and greens. So very shiny and awesome. I also added in my fantastic new range of day-glo colours. The colour squee was strong in this one.

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There’s a point in every painting where I hit a tipping point. In the above image, I wasn’t there and I was feeling impatient to get there. So many unpainted elements. It can interfere with the focus on the final image. I went through and painted these in one go, knowing I could swing back and refine things as needed. It’s far, far easier to paint on a painted layer than on blank white. Adjusting rather than creating.

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Nearly all colours added in. I didn’t like the background by this time. It wasn’t working but at least it wasn’t white.

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And finally details in place. Adding white back in, adding in more darks. Just working and refining until I got to the point where it felt done. Note that I played with the background a lot, including flicking paint until I finally hit that aha! moment.

sm_20151117_222500-1“Han”

20″x16″

Acrylic on canvas

 

 

 

 

 

But this week, I’m back to ComicCon prep. Don’t forget December 5th in Toronto! I’ve got a few paintings left to do from various fandoms. I think I will tackle more from The Force Awakens and classic Star Wars. And whatever else I can fit in between now and Dec 3. 

Make sure you check out my events page for updates. My 2016 schedule is being booked up like mad. As things become official I will be updating.