January 4, 2016

You Have Reached The Life Model Decoy Of Tony Stark, Please Leave A Message

I’m going through my year end wrap up. Slightly late but it’s all good. 2015 was an excellent year for me in the world of painting. So many awesome things happened and I grew as an artist in completely unexpected and thrilling ways. I think the journey of this painting, my last one of 2015, pretty much mirrors my year in art.

I had an idea to paint various scenes from Avengers. Because I love Avengers and I love painting people in situ.


I love moments that are funny or moving or start the hero on his or her journey. And maybe the moment that happens seems innocuous at first, but it really is the first step.

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This is Agent Coulson interacting in a very human way with Pepper. We don’t really get to know him much in the movies he’s appeared in, but the tidbits we see are deep. Tony, on the other hand, is sarcastic and slightly defensive. Hence the title of the piece.


When I started this painting, it was earlier in the year. November, maybe? October? I don’t remember. What I do remember is the fact that it wasn’t coming together at all. The style wasn’t working and I knew I had something there but I wasn’t doing it justice. Not by a long shot.

Art is a wibbly wobbly journey. A person doesn’t just suddenly know how to paint and becomes a painting robot. Where’s the fun in that? Each painting teaches the artist something new. A technique. An angle. An approach. I didn’t have the right approach and so I set this painting aside. Not in frustration, but with the idea that I would come back to it when the time was right.

The time was right at the end of December. I had painted the painting that gave me the right approach to use. This one, in fact. The Joker.


Look at how he’s both in my bright, bold style but also has a classic inked comic feel to him. And it works. This painting is one of my favourites from 2015 precisely because of the approach.

And so I returned to my Iron Man painting.

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I started by simplifying the colours and layers. Brightening things up. And it was working, but not enough. Time to take a nod to Iron Man in the comic world.


Knocking back the colours, brighter but less of them, and adding in the line work really pulled this together.


I never wanted Phil to be in focus. He’s there and a very necessary part of the composition but in reality, his character is present, but secondary.

sm_20151220_170649-1 “You Have Reached The Life Model Decoy Of Tony Stark, Please Leave A Message.”


Acrylic on canvas

Prints and the original are available for sale HERE.





Art is always a journey. One that requires patience. Knowing when to set something aside until later. Knowing when it’s time to pick it up again. And sometimes paintings get murdered and never come to life, but they still teach valuable lessons. I’m not always the most patient of people in life and work but in art, I find my Zen.

Want to see this in person? Or me? Check out my events page for my schedule. I could be appearing at a Con near you!