Sunday, August 17, 2008

Donkey Kong and Link!

Goodness gracious! Dig on my other two paintings for the "I AM 8-BIT" group exhibit, now showing in Hollywood. Of course, I had to do a piece of Link. And there's that tower of barrel-throwing power, Donkey Kong.

The Link piece ("Legend") was really fun to knock out. I love drawing the old Nintendo characters the way they were on the actual game screen -- short and boxy as can be. So here's my stout little Link, running from dungeon to dungeon, building up his hearts, so he can shoot his sword of power! You might not see it at first glance (especially on a computer screen), but this piece is rich in collage. Link's belt is made of lightly painted paper tape. In a more obvious show of texture, his scarf is done in glued-down newspaper. I barely painted that part, as I was aiming to give this entire series a roughshod look. For instance, for the bricks above and below our heroic elf, I glued down some thick, corrugated cardboard. Then, while it was half-dry, I tore of the top layer of board, leaving behind an extra-tattered rectangle. That helped me get a nice, rugged brick texture. Ruff!

In general, the painting on "Legend" was thin. It was more about adding tone to textures, than thick, layered painting for me. The most painting, I suppose, happenend in Link's face. But even that was done very quickly, in a pseudo-Les Fauves (The Wild Beasts) painting style. I blocked in bold strokes of color, really trying to nail a tone right away, and move on to the next one.

I'm especially happy with the feel of the character in this one. While I worked on it, I was thinking, "What would Link really look like." I realize how silly that sounds, but look -- the dude's running around in dungeons, fighting monsters and looking for his kidnapped girlfriend. He's gonna be tired, sorta beat up, and probably a little scared. So I gave Link a forlorn look in his eye. His clothes are soiled. He's got cuts and scratches on his face and arms. But he's still fighting on, because Princess Zelda isn't gonna save herself.

Then there's the uber-classic arcade villain, Donkey Kong, in the piece I titled "Kong." The collage usage is a lot more obvious here than in "Legend," though it still has its subtle parts. His furry, brown body is made up of torn pages from a phone book, with a thin glazing of acrylic applied over top. Then I used paper tape to add some graphic collaged shapes to Mr. Kong's hands, foot, and face. In the vein of visual brevity, I didn't fuss too much with the background. It's just a simple orange, with some raw painted blue barrels and ladders. My main focus was getting across the idea of this gritty, rampaging gorilla.

Oh, but one thing I did give special attention to was DK's yellow belly. I drew out the shape for his furry fronts-patch on a sheet of lined, loose-leaf notebook paper. Then, using an Exacto blade, I cut it out, like a ninja. After gluing the belly onto Kong's body, I gave it its pale, yellow-pink tone by simply applying a few glazes of acrylic, from thin to thick. If you look closely, you can make out a few details of the note page -- pink and blue ruling lines, a frayed edge where it was torn out... hell, his left nipple is a binder hole!

So that's the gist of that. I'm pay-pay-PAINTING this week, getting ready for "Bastards of the Universe: A Pop Culture Mess." It's a group show opening in San Francisco this Thursday. Keep an eye out for more updates on that. It's gonna be an awesome, hectic time.

"I wish I knew how to quit you...."
-Bunker, over and out.


Debbie said...

Yow, that Link is awesome. Love all the little details that you put into it!

Dave Crosland said...

Thanks, Debbie! Glad you enjoy it. And thanks for taking the time to let me know.

Rock on!

Lunchbox said...

I dig Legend the most of the three you've done. I saw it on Myspace first and I actually gave you silent kudos in my lonely sudio as I looked at Link's face and saw that you may have dug a little deeper into the character and how he may really look. I like DK, too. But I feel like the background is a little light. He needs bigger, more predominant barrels and... a Princess?

Anyway, great stuff and thanks for sharring.

Scott Hume said...

damn man, well you know how I feel about these, totally dig em, loving the link one the most.