Mutant Challenge: Small Win

Mutant Challenge: Small Win

Anubis; my answer to a Mutant future 

Recently on Art Order, there was a Mutation Nation Contest. Basically the challenge was to come up with one of two Mutant paths; a gene splice of two critters, or an anthropomorphic blend.

My thinking that ended up leading to the painting above, is that after whatever holocaust blows us off the planet, and radically contorts all forms of life that might be left, there will be scavengers. Packs of wild creatures, roving like gypsies, mutant creatures scouring the land looking for anything of value. They would be scrappy critters with sharp pointy teeth and an insane laugh that could curdle milk. Enter the mutant dogs, half man – half jackal, and all business. Seen here in their natural habitat, the mutant dogs have ripped up anything that might be used as a bludgeon; a parking meter, a no parking sign, and “other.”

Their leader, Anubis, runs an orderly, if not psycho, band of scavengers. Woe be unto those who might cross his street or per chance happen to have upon themselves a scrap of anything that he may desire, for he is quick with a smile and a laugh but he’s just as quick to shred your flesh right off the bone!

For those of you still reading along { thank you } here’s the process that brought about the final painting. In all honesty, I have to say that this painting is not one that I consider to be a huge triumph, more that it is a small win. I was able to finish on time to enter the contest and I was able to explore some new techniques with the airbrush. But as a finished piece, I don’t think anyone will think “elegant simplicity,” in other words, I think the piece is overly complicated for the requirements. Where did it go wrong, or was it ever right?

This is one of three thumbnail that I generated. The things that I like here are the saunter of the main character, and the creature in the super foreground. I felt like the creeping mutant dog in the back felt a little like “a boy and his mutant dog go for a walk,” so I axed him. I did like the flotsam of fire and smoke in the background to give it that post-apocalypse feel.

A little further down the road. I am still trying to wrangle some kind of understanding/ imagineering of how these legs might work, and how the rest of the body would respond. I am struggling with the hips and the shoulders. I know there should be some kind of contropposto going on, but my result so far is very square.

The value study.

Then after showing the WIP around to some friends, I started to rework the drawing. While I was doing that I couldn’t quite remedy the awkwardness of the character in the fore ground. And by awkwardness I mean “I wanted to draw those fabulous backwards dog knees.” This may actually be the point when I start going downhill, I was falling in love with my drawing. My friend and drawing mentor Mark has warned me numerous times about this. I was sacrificing the piece for those hard won lines of legs.

After some friends Vaughn and Vince {see links below} helped out by sharing their observations about this drawing, I brought it to the final stage. Some of the suggestions that were made was to establish a better horizon line with some more dynamic perspective to give a better sense of space, and also to better coordinate the main character’s gaze with where he’s pointing.

In the end, the painting seems to be a technically well produced piece, but that it’s just a little too busy for my taste. Not bad, but a beautiful looser. As the age old saying goes, “you have to paint the bad paintings too,” and for me, that’s OK. It feels good to know that I am still learning, and that the next piece… well the next piece will be even better.

As ever, your comments and observations are welcome and appreciated.


Helpful Friends:
Vaughn Barker { site } and { blog }
Vincent Lee { site }
Final Challenge Gallery: come see everybody’s work… it’s pretty incredible!: { here }
Original Mutation Challenge page on Art Order { here }
Keep checking back for the gallery link, which will be posted here when it becomes available.

One Response to Mutant Challenge: Small Win

  1. Nicely dne, sir.Me likey!
    Watercolory goodness in evidence and I dig the progress shots.
    —Jeremy McHugh

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