Thursday, August 11, 2011



Well, here he is.

About one and a half months late, but here he is.

As I have mentioned before some frinds requested a couple of months ago, that I do a painting of the Muppet Beaker following the creation of my Gonzo in a flight suit painting. I have documented the process and will post the progression in the next couple of days. This was a real blast to work on. I paid special attention to the eyes in this painting making sure the pupil's do not reflect light, but that the ping-pong ball eyes give enough sense of roundness. I think it was quite successful.

This is something I attempted with Gonzo and was also successful with, but with practice comes improvement, and I think the sense of depth and lighting are superior in this painting. Going back to the eyes of both Muppets, I made a point of not adding highlights to the pupils of the eyes as that denotes that there is a wet reflective surface. What I find interesting as with the actual puppets themselves, even though they have essentially dead eyes they still feel full of energy and life.

I've often found it strange that even though they are in fact puppets, that I never think of them as puppets. Beaker is Beaker and Gonzo is Gonzo (Real life characters to me.) I thought for a while that this phenomena was due to the fusion of puppeteering and television. The ability to always crop the puppeteers out of the scene, but just watch kids or even the adult actors interact with the Muppets live. You will notice the suspension of disbelief with all of them. Even directly confronted with the puppeteer controlling the Muppet.

Although there are many things I tried to do with this painting concerning lighting and painting techniques. I regret not doing a proper colour comp. This I think slowed me down considerably in my decision making process during the actual execution of this painting. What I am very happy about is the green background and the vignette. The green is as close as I could get to the actual colour of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and the vignette gives a dark and slightly ominous feeling, like the Dr. is about to unleash some horribly useful invention upon Beaker.

I can not folks who suggest I paint Beaker enough for their idea to do this painting. This painting proved to be a very rewarding and pleasurable experience. Thanks to the both of you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I can now focus back on finishing my mini Peter Pan paintings and then get back on track with my Folk Fest series and other things.

Until next post,
Stay Golden Pony Boys and Girls


Christian Pearce said...

Very nice indeed! Not putting the specular pupil-ping was a wise move, musta been tempting though!

James said...

Thanks for the compliment Christian.

The portraits have been good fun, but I'm keen to try something with an environment.

Specular pupil-ping, specular pupil-ping . . . sounds like a song. "And now the second movement of Specular Pupil-Ping in D-flat major. Performed by the Trans Siberian Orchestra."

Pamela Kirkpatrick said...

i love this!

James said...

Thanks Pam,

I need to get painting again I've been off the oils a bit lately. Time to get back into it I think.

Swedish Chef this time?

Who knows?