When I was a kid, I built a proton pack out of Construx, and fired vigorously into the clouds on an overcast day. My inspiration? Dr. Peter Venkman… a scientist that didn’t suck. So, 28 years later, I paid homage to one of my favorite characters (and actor) with this painting: Dr. Bill Venkman.
This is the cropped and desaturated source image used for this painting. Bill Murray has evolved so dramatically throughout the years, so an exploration of greytones with an emphasis on the a dark side was in order.
Have your cake and eat it too… in just over a minute. Soundtrack from “The Project Ambershift” by the ever-talented Nelson Downend, Jr. and Ahmed Mahmoud.
Here is the photograph of my TV, paused mid-Ghostbusters… bonus points if you can guess the exact scene used in this painting. OK, on to the process.
Starting out with the basic collage… the headlines were really stream of conscious here… based on a notion.
Blasting out the hair and shadows in pure, unadulterated Ivory black. I very rarely use the non-color in a painting, but it felt right here.
In with the titanium white, laying out the bright highlights. It’s always a challenge when you have reflective highlights on the dark side of the face, but I like challenges. And faces. And Titanium White.
Beginning to take form. The collaged images are of the hanging gun sign down in Little Italy. There are many reasons for applying this picture twice, but one is a shout to Murray’s role as Hunter S. Thompson in Where the Buffalo Roam, a highly underrated flick.
Making it’s first appearance in any of my paintings? Parchment white… I was mixing the alternating tones with Paynes Grey and Titanium White… then Payne’s and Parchment.
He’s starting to find his way… time to whack into the other side of the face.
Lately, I’ve found myself diving deeper into the shadows on portraits… something about the duality of persona. Also, note to self, time to paste a Borbay logo on that Under Armour box, I’m not sponsored by them.
Oh yes… what are we going to do on the right side of the face? I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve been in the private sector, they expect results!
Background is parchment white.
There we go… it’s almost impossible to perceive in a non-professional photograph, but the letters are still discernible on the ‘dark side’.
Dr. Bill Venkman. He will be part of my Kick Ass Actors in Kick Ass Roles exhibition coming this fall.
Joining Dr. Bill will be:
And Hunter S. Depp… up next? Only time will tell…
The flowers are still standing!