Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Acrylic Beginner's Luck

Veteran fantasy fans will remember Fritz Leiber's pair of sword and sorcery adventurers, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. They are some of my favorite fantasy characters and when I was first entering into fantasy illustration, I did some pictures of the duo. This is the best one of the lot. It was one of the first things I painted in acrylic, rather than watercolor. And I have always been pleased at how my acrylic painting here turned out. I was able to model fabric, wood textures, figures, and even faces. I have a lot of trouble doing that in acrylic now, after more than thirty years! I remember painting this piece. I used a lot of reference photos and looked at a lot of other people's art to see how they used acrylic or other somewhat opaque paint. Somehow I was able to paint a bimbo who had a decent face and nice flesh tones. She was from a reference photo too. I call it beginner's luck. I was rather disappointed that this picture wasn't popular and I sold it for a way-too-low price at Boskone (at the time, the only science fiction convention in Boston) in 1979. The colors of my slide are faded and this is the best I could do to recover the look of the original painting.

"Fafhrd, Mouser, and Friends" is acrylic on illustration board, 8" x 10", January 1979.

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

cute! Looks like you had a good hand at Acrylic then and as you say, yor faces are pretty good here. Seems to me it must be a mental block and not a matter of not being able to do it artistic/skill wise now!