Me, Satan and the apple

And by apple, I mean, Mac, specifically the iPad, but I had to use apple because of the Satan thing, sooo... anyway, on to the story. Some may know that I had a long wonderful life as an illustrator and what a cool gig that was, every job was different. I got to explore different mediums; pastel, acrylic, gouache, oil, airbrush, scratchboard, amberlith, etc. and I got to have fun with the problem solving part of the equation. Painting a landscape or a figure has its own set of problems to be solved every time you put brush to canvas. But you are really solving them just for yourself, illustration has to solve someone elses problem in a way that anyone who views the art gets the message. I miss those days. The most fun I had was doing the opera posters for ten years, so much fun in fact that I wrote a book about it, and it was a mildly successful tome. It's a damn good book. Anyol'hooo, I got a call from another opera company to do a few more and I said, Hecks yeah! They said we want you to do Faust and Don Giovanni. I had already done Faust, in fact, it was the first opera painting I ever did. So a chance to have another crack at it would be okay be me. The story of Faust goes like this; a guy sells his soul to the devil so that a certain young woman will fall in love with him, she has his baby, kills the baby, goes to prison and dies there, and Faust gets dragged to hell. Bummer. Here's the first one that went after the idea of Faust wrestling his own demon.

Now some 20 years later, I'm going at it again with the aid of new technology. Used to be pencils and markers and now it's an iPad. Here's the initial sketch for the clients approval. I wanted for Satan to be more puppet master without the obvious strings attached.

And here's the final 24x30 oil on canvas. You can tell that I pretty much borrowed a lot from my own sketch and as the painting developed I think I borrowed a little from old pulp fiction covers, though I didn't look at any. It just happened. I made up the face from bits and pieces of reference though I could never find the exact pose.

It was a lot of fun... I've always wanted to incorporate this kind of story telling into my work. I had this brilliant idea for years that I would do a series of story/narratives that were to be called Fictitious mythologies, until I realized that all mythologies are fictitious and comic books, super hero films, tales of the future, space action films... well, they've already done it way better than a guy can do with a brush. Still nibbling on the idea though.

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