Monday, February 27, 2012

AzM BLOG: #ART (Mixed Media) Zombie M.J. from Thriller - Ben Temples

 Zombie M.J. from Thriller - Ben Temples

Too late for Halloween, but totally by coincidence this will be posted just in time for the verdict in the Murray trial to be announced.

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I'd wanted to do an image or two of MJ for a couple of years and still remember vividly from my childhood the first time we saw the Thriller video at my friend's house. I finally got around to doodling something the other day in ink and while that's not worth even scanning and posting, it kept me motivated into starting a painting.

I started sketching out the underdrawing and since I'd been drawing some quicker portraits in pencil lately wanted to keep it brief and get right to the painting. Then after an hour or two I realized that I'd gotten fairly involved in doing detail and shading and abandoned that plan. So I actually did a tight detailed black and white graphite drawing on watercolor paper and was resolved to trying to lay washes of color over a tight pencil drawing kind of the way I've seen ALAN LEE illustrate.

Again, since this wasn't the original plan and this paper had texture to it, it was a struggle to draw on it and get even tones. Then I didn't know if running a brush over the pencils would smudge the drawing and I also wasn't sure how the paint would lie on the paper if I sealed the drawing down with some kind of spray so I just went for it and after a few light washes of some color decided to stop. It has the feel of a colorized Ted Turner movie or a color-tinted black and white photo, but that's OK. It doesn't bother me or feels wrong.

 Zombie M.J. from Thriller - Ben TemplesHere's a poor scan of the original pencil drawing before I applied any color.

As you can see the dark graphite areas are highly reflective and distracting when looking at it.

(AFTER putting down some watercolors).

I also was a little worried about the graphite smudging and instead of spraying it, I took some acrylic gloss medium varnish that I had laying around and gave the entire thing a coat. 

Now the whole thing is slick, shiny and most importantly better protected. It also scans much better for whatever reason.

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