I’ve had to keep this under wraps for a few months now, but now I can reveal this painting ! In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Tsuburaya Productions there will be an on going, multi year show that will travel Japan. The show will have original art, new toy designs based on Tsuburaya characters and more. I was honred to be invited to participate and to be honest would have been crushed if I was not asked (haha). For my part, I decided to paint Ultraman based on several influences. Of course, for those who have followed me thru the years, the major influence on me was the original Ultraman TV show and toys of the 60s. Once I figured out how many vintage toys there were of him .. well my life was consumed with tracking them all down ( my web site with some of my collection is here : www.ultramantoys.com ). The other major influence on me is the artist Jack Kirby and Marvel Comic books. As I thought about these two influences it occurred to me that to my knowledge Kirby never illustrated Ultraman. I’m not even sure if he was aware of the Ultraman shows .. but, I thought, What if Jack Kirby had illustrated Ultraman ??
With that permise I began thinking about doing a tribute painting for the 50th Anniversary show… combining Ultraman and Kirby, with of course myself ;-P
“Marvelous Ultraman” is the title of the painting and the process I took in creating it is below. The original will be on display for this show in Japan so if you are there I hope you go visit it for me 😉
With that I generated this first sketch featuring Ultraman’s foe, Alien Baltan in the background. And I’m trying my best to use a Kirby style but not so much that it doesn’t feel like my own art .. it’s a tough line to follow …
I projected the sketch onto hot press illustration board and as my working method is made a full value pencil sketch onto the board. Once the pencil work was completed, I started blocking in the darks in the background .. yes had to use “Kirby Krackle” 😉 I mostly work from back ground to fore ground …
Also I’m trying to keep things sorat flat like an old comic but not too flat ;-P
I wanted the Earth to be fully dimensional .. to play off the flatness of some parts of the art Slowly each section is masked off and sprayed with an airbrush and hand painting …adding chrome balls 😉 I’ve been airbrushing chrome balls ( ok no jokes about that ! ) since the late 80s … so I thought it would be a nice touch to add ;-P working on Mefilas …this time I’m spraying fairly dark as i will pull out the mid tones and high lights as below … adjusting colors over my pencil work … Time for Ultraman .. this part was a challenge .. again trying to keep the Kirby style but adding some depth to it as well .. and on top of all that some of my own style … after spraying Ultraman, all the masks are removed and I go back in to clean up edges and make any adjustments .. pushing parts forward or knocking them back into the back ground .. and below, there you have it ! I had to complete this painting fairly quickly, in all about 4 days worth, framed it, packed it up and sent it off to Japan.
Ah, but there’s more that I worked on … ;-P I got another few approvals but for now I can not say what it is .. but I’m pretty excited about it all (!!) Hopefully we can reveal these things very soon … so stay tuned. I’ll also post more specific information about the venue, dates etc for this show. I had a blast doing this art and hope you enjoy it too !