November 19, 2015

He Is A Little Short For A Stormtrooper

I *might* be on a Star Wars kick. There *may* be a little movie excitement going on here. 

But it’s not obvious at all. Huh. Nope.

My favourite moment, or one of them anyway, is when Luke pops into Princess Leia’s cell and removes his stormtrooper helmet. He’s bright-eyed and ready to get things done. She responds with sarcasm and a complete lack of delicate, wilting female. Perfection. And I’ve been waiting to paint this moment for a very long time.


A little chalk on canvas and I was off. Sometimes the paintings start out looking good. Sometimes they just look weird. Like a map that desperately needs to be filled in. This one was definitely a map.


My reference was full of blues and purples and all sorts of colours. After painting Han, I knew I wanted to get the heavy spaces in the background done first.

Painting is all about visual balance. The reason in-progress shots look like shit, and hell even in person the paintings look like shit, is because there’s no balance. Balance can pull one colour forward and push another one back. Colours that look so wrong in-progress become the best part of the final painting.

Knowing this helps. A lot. But the journey from drawing to final still requires a crap ton of focus. Eyes on the prize.

sm_20151118_205307-1 sm_20151118_210526-1

Look at the above shots and see how terrible everything looks. Or they appear to be terrible and appearances can be deceiving.

Sometimes when I put down a red or magenta, I cringe because they are so loud. So strong. And the painting feels like it is going to break.


Balance everything out with black and the painting suddenly comes to life. The red and yellow are pushed into place and suddenly start working. The moment that happens, the painting pulls together and I hit the home stretch. It’s all details from here.


The little things differentiate the finished painting from the nearly finished painting. Refined background because the black shadow wasn’t quite working. I added in magenta in places. Punched up the white and yellows. Finished adding in the reds. Even tossed in some grey. Holy mackeral, a mad flurry of colour work was in play.

And then it was done.

sm_20151118_222024-1“He Is A Little Short For A Stormtrooper”


Acrylic on canvas



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.