July 4, 2014

The Unholy Buddy Story: A Commission for Shannon


The string of commissions recently has been a complete blessing. For me, they bring an energy to my work and a new approach. I want so much for everyone to love, love, love the final that I put my heart and soul into every one. This painting was no exception. I’d never heard of Deadpool before. Dead Pool?  Deadpool. I just Googled it again. I had to look him up a bit (obviously I didn’t retain the spelling of his name but I did learn a lot!).  Deadpool is a superhero that can’t die. You can burn him to ashes and foom! He’s baaack! Alien, however, I am incredibly familiar with. From the terrifying movies to the behind-the-scenes art. Funny that it took me 4 years to watch the first one because it terrified me so much. Now…no problem.

Alien and the whole Alien franchise is a bit like Star Wars was to sci-fi. Up until 1977, there really wasn’t anything stunning in sci-fi movies. Oh yeah, there was 2001, but it’s slow as hell and I’m still working my way through the movie (have not seen it completely yet). I read the book years ago. Anyway…terrifying sci-fi was more sad than terrifying. And all monsters were the same. Then alien came along and changed everything. We didn’t even really see the whole alien for much of the film, making it even more frightening. But the character design was stunning. A lot of that is due to HR Geiger, who made both amazing and horrifying art. I am on the fence with him as an artist because I’ve seen more than just this related body of work and while technically fabulous the subject matters often aren’t to my taste.

Anyway…whew! Alien and Deadpool. A surprisingly appropriate combination for a buddy movie type thing. Deadpool can’t die so Alien can lay her eggs in him all she wants. Which is…gross, but whatever.

I started with a loose background here (above). Using a knife to lay out the paint and then a ginormous brush to smooth it out. The consistent atmosphere in Alien is spooky, and often foggy and nondescript. Then I worked on the composition. Going into this painting, I didn’t have as clear of a vision as I normally do. I was thinking something back-to-back, or your typical cop movie poses but nothing was working. I started and changed the painted sketch several times until I came up with this. Once in place it was just a matter of colour, shade and light.



You’ll see in most of my work that I put colour in where you’d thing it doesn’t belong. Alien isn’t red, for example, but she can be shiny and so I wanted to achieve a few things here. One, that Alien is reflecting some of the red of Deadpool and two, that both characters belong together in the composition. Colour is very powerful and a great way to ensure that a painting pulls together, or falls apart.


Aside from colour, attention to detail is equally important. If you look at the closeup shot of the Alien teeth, you can see the difference between the ones that were touched up and the ones that weren’t. Still not uber precise because that’s not my style, but far stronger in appearance.


And the final versions. They look pretty darn similar except that they aren’t. Look at the bump of highlights on Alien. Deadpool’s swords are finished. Things like that. In person, the painting has an energy and more colours than you can see here. Actual better photos coming soon.

The Unholy Buddy Story

16″ x 20″

Acrylic on stretched canvas

Painted for Shannon. I’m so glad I got a chance to make something I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of!

Want a painting of your own? Have an idea or subject you want? I can paint that! From landscapes to portraits to crazy mashups, anything is possible. And right now, it’s incredibly affordable! Let’s talk. The bonus? You get to see your art come to life, live on Facebook! How cool is that?