I am very honored to have a few pieces in the upcoming "Steampunk Celebration"
. I'll be appearing at the Disneyana Gallery and Shop on Main Street U.S.A, Disneyland- Saturday February 22
, exhibiting three new original paintings in a show I hope you will all enjoy. Half of my work these days is produced digitally on the computer but when I'm asked to conceive something for Disney collectors,
use traditional hand tools, techniques and methods the way we used to at the old Disney Studio. Disney collectors deserve it!
Some of those same fine folks have written me requesting more photos of the painting process and since I sometimes forget to do so, my lovely wife Patty kept sneaking upstairs into the studio and scaring the beejeebers out of me to get these shots. I just wish she would let me get out of the shot before she takes the picture.
|Rivets, rivets and more RIVETS! |
The first painting I did was "20,000 LEAKS UNDER THE SEA"
, a humorous send up
or maybe I should say sinking
of the Walt Disney
classic, "20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA"
. Once I came up with the funny title twist, everything else fell into place. With Captain Mickey Mouse
in command you would think things would be ship shape, that is until you add crewmen Donald Duck
and Goofy Dawg
. Mickey is trying to keep my whimsical version of the Nautilus afloat while Goofy checks for leaks with his trusty hammer and Donald is ready to abandon ship,... er... uh... sub
|Doing doodles during dinner|
The color scheme of "20,000 LEAKS UNDER THE SEA"
is loosely based
somewhat on the unique range of hues frequently used by one of the most popular poster artists of the 1890's and a leader in the Art Nouveau
movement coming out of France, Alphonse Mucha
. The media is gouache on board over pencil and let me tell you if you haven't guessed already, those rivets were a nightmare, but worth the effort.
I went back to the "golden age"
look of Mickey, Donald
as we used to refer to it at the old Disney Studio. That era is roughly the late 1930s through the 1940s and I really prefer those proportions and model designs as the studio was at its height of artistic creation under Walt's guidance and it really showed in the features as well as shorts of that time. Of course my "toon take" of the Nautilus was based on the magnificent original sub from the classic film designed by an old friend from WED
(Walt Elias Disney
) days, Disney Legend Harper Goff
. I hope the Vulcania Volunteers
out there will forgive me for the liberties I took with Harper's beautiful creation.
|Adding tight concentric circles with |
my small compass for a paint guide
Another entry for the Steampunk Show is "MAD HATTER to the QUEEN
", using the wonderfully eccentric Ward Kimball
creation from Walt Disney's
classic animated feature, "ALICE IN WONDERLAND"
. Besides trains, Ward was a huge fan of Victorian Advertising art and typography. He in fact did a couple of doodles in that vein for me when we briefly worked together at WED
. He'd have gotten a kick out of this but would have definitely suggested I "spice it up" with something off beat and funny. Ward's sense of design coupled with his sense of humor was out of this world.
himself is nestled inside a clockwork setting holding his needle and thread with milliner tools on one side and his freshly constructed hats on the other. I outfitted him in a full steampunk cloak, boots and hat complete with goggles and lens attachment for close up sewing work. You must remember that the Queen of Hearts
is very particular as to her head wear. Let's face it, no one wants to lose their head by upsetting her majesty.
|Closer view of the lines|
For this look I was inspired by the beautiful ink engraved illustrations drawn by John Tenniel
for the original editions of, "Alice in Wonderland".
I cleaned up my rough drawing into a single line and transferred it to board. After tightening that drawing further I then used center points with a compass to accurately setup the gears and their teeth. A lot of the drawing tools I used were actually objects used by cartographers back in the day to ink lines on detailed maps when they used to do them by hand. I thought I would never get this one done but it was an exciting exercise in old techniques. Then on to the paint!
The painting is 100% gouache over pencil on board. I layed in a light wash to setup the base colors and values then applied lines. The intricate lines are each painted by hand using a limited 16 color palette to achieve a Victorian advertisement style. We have been informed since the painting was completed that if all of those fine lines that make up this piece were stretched out into a single line it would stretch over TWO FOOTBALL FIELDS!
Well no wonder I ran low on paint! This engraved look was achieved completely with 2 tiny brushes, a 35 plus year old vintage Disney Feature Animation Studio "ARTSIGN# 0"
and a "PRINCETON #2"
along with a sponge to apply the outside texture.
It took a steady hand and lots of encouragement from cookies, candy and eggnog.
|Layering gouache on the board|
My last piece for this exhibition showcases my favorite Disney star, the little fellow that everything else in the wonderful world of Disney was built upon, Mickey Mouse
! I wanted to make him the hero of the piece by taking the original "Mouseketeer"
and turning him into the "Rocketeer"
This illustration actually leans towards "Dieselpunk" within an "art deco" construction while emulating a bit of the WPA poster era. My Mickey again was inspired by the "golden age"
model designs of Mickey from the late 1930s and early 1940s. I painted this with acrylics over pencil on board.
So please keep this date in mind, Saturday February 22, at Disneyana Gallery and Shop on Main Street U.S.A, Disneyland
for "STEAM DAY" and I'll be there from 9AM to 11AM
By the way, for anyone not familiar with the term Steampunk,
it's a fun and fashionable send up of the very popular trend inspired by a sort of British Victorian age meets the American old west within a glue of steam powered gadgetry with a bit of 1950s retro sometimes sneaking into the background.
Come out to the Disneyland Gallery
and say hello. The Disney Gallery staff
is always helpful and very friendly. Not only will these originals be for sale but they will have prints on hand for purchase and signing. There will also be lots of other stunning pieces of art on display by some very talented friends of mine that I am fortunate to share the "stage
" with. I hope to see you all there at the happiest place on earth