Tuesday, December 4, 2012

From the Vault: The Big One:
Two of last week's Watercolor Wednesday paintings were based on a project called "The Big One" (seen to the left and just below to the right). My friend Mike Davis (character inspiration for Rand) had an idea for a story/setting that paralleled WWII in mood, theme, and technology but was being waged by Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Drow, Giants, Orcs, etc. (the Meta-human races of D&D)

The idea still has some legs in my mind, and while I was painting gnomes and dwarves, & giants in a more fairy tale style for Watercolor Wednesdays, I thought I'd dip back in to the WWII theme for some new and unique pieces.Mike and I started talking about this project right after college gradation (we graduated together from EMU with degrees in Fine Art...though we've been friends since 8th grade).

 Mike is a bit of a miliraty buff and we both like strategy war games (I think we'd been playing Axis and Allies at the time). The concept was his and I just helped him flesh out the factions and what races would represent the various real-world sides of WWII. Elves represented Great Britain and Dwarves were Russia...but after that we started spiraling off into our own fictionalized history and war rather than the direct comparisons of the real events. This triptych was painted on my last sheet of watercolor paper from college and was my first try at showing the major players.

While elves were my race of choice to play in Dungeons and Dragons, I was more fascinated by what we were doing with the history and culture of our military Dwarves. I was basing their helmets on Naval helmets and liked the idea of a dwarven navy, though I think Mike resisted because Dwarves dislike water in D&D. For this painting I threw them into a blizzard  hunkered down and trying to get supplies. By the time I did this painting I felt my artwork wasn't portraying a grity or realistic enough view of this story...it was coming off cartoony and cute.

I started doing research. At that time I was working at Starbucks Coffee, so after my shift ended and I didn't have classes anymore, I could work on painting a fictionalized WWII. Using a lot of photo reference, I did these three paintings for the project.

Unfortunately niether Mike or I had any idea at the time where to take the story. We had broad strokes, but no characters, no heart for our set up. And as usual, life got in the way...I found another hobby or thing to draw after work and Mike did too. Perhaps some day Mike and I will figure out a direction for The Big One, but until then..it remains in the Vault.

Holiday Sale Reminder:
In my online store you can use promocode MOUSEGUARD to receive 10% off your order! I'm running this sale through the end of the year, so whether you are buying a gift for a Mouse Guard fan, or something for yourself, If it's still December, you can get a discount. I'll be updating the store with more items as the sale goes on (check Twitter or Facebook for updates)

Watercolor Wednesday:
The other piece from last week's Watercolor Wednesday was He-Man's arch enemy Skelator. I had a Skelator action figure when I was a kid, but I took him and my He-man figure down the street to an unoccupied house. The house was maintained by a guy we all called "M'Guffy"...though I don't think that was his name at all. Anyhow the house was vacant and kids would play on the lawn and front steps of the house. As I played, I had He-Man put Skelator in 'jail'...which was really the house's mailbox. I guess I went home forgetting to ever pardon Skelator, and when I went back and found him gone I cried. I asked Mr. M'Guffy the next time he came to mow, and he said he'd found the toy and given it to a little boy in HIS neighborhood. What an odd and long story to accompany a single painting...
Tomorrow I'll post a few more paintings in my online store.

2013 Appearances: Emerald City: March 1-3
Fabletown Con: March 22-24
C2E2: April 26-28
Spectrum Live: May 17-19
Heroes Con: June 7-9
San Diego Comic Con: July 17-21

*more 2013 dates coming*

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The story seems pretty cool. Thanks for sharing your art with us!

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