Most of my fans know that during the mid-’80s to the early ’90s, I worked with Hasbro producing G.I. Joe artwork for their Research and Development Department. This art was done as presentation for the Board of Directors to determine whether any particular character would move forward to future production. My task was to paint the characters designed as 3 1/2″ toys to look like real fighting G.I. Joe characters. None of this work was meant for publication, however, over the years, fans and collectors have seen some of this art via the Web or fan club communications. (One of the future projects I am hoping to get off of the ground is a collection of all of this unseen artwork into a G.I. Joe/Hasbro art volume. I will keep you up to date on information as this project progresses.)
I have many fans contact me directly about the art I did during this period. Recently one of those fans asked if I’d be interested in recreating some of those pieces for his private collection. This is not something that I normally do, but this particular fan showed so much enthusiasm that I thought that it might be fun to see how I would approach these paintings almost 20 years later. I took on his commission for the three recreations and now I present to you one of them as an art progressive:
Pencil on Illustration Board Recreating the Character to Be Painted
The original landscape for this painting had a textured rock pattern that I applied with very thick gesso. I repeated that technique on this new board as well.
Here I start laying in some of the b/g colors, starting with the explosion in the mid left.
The b/g is almost complete at this point with the main figure clean so that when I add color to the figure, it will be unencumbered by underpainting.
After the b/g dries, I now lay in the underpainting for the basic colors of the figure.
Continuing similar to the previous photo, I lay in the rest of the colors for this figure.
With the basic tones being laid down in oils, I now begin the detail work with acrylics, starting with the head and moving downward.
Work continues with the acrylics, adding more detail to the body and his equipment.
At this point, I've completed some of the finer shadowing details and refinements with various shades of gray markers. You'll note final details on the ground and some color corrections for the background. The above is the finished piece.
This piece was 16″ x 20″ oil, acrylic and marker on gessoed illustration board. It is the exactly the same size as the original Hasbro artwork. If you have comments or questions about this piece, please feel free to post them here.
Many of my G.I. Joe fans have asked me about commission work or recreations. This is the first one I have ever done, and I did enjoy bringing back good memories of working with the artists and creators at Hasbro. I would certainly be happy to do more of this type of work if any of you are interested. Please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me via Facebook
As always, I thank you for your time and interest in my work.