Brains and Brawn On Deck 9

 "Brains and Brawn" Acrylic, 8" x 32" 

"Skill over Swag" concept that started it all


online auction is live and this year's display showcase is upcoming on May 2nd at Brink Gallery. I had the honor of participating for the second time this year, and following the piece that I created for OD8, "Yojimbo Falls", I felt a strong desire to carry on my TMNT series and undertake the task of creating my own Donatello painting next. I had worked up many of these sketches last year in an attempt to brain dump what I had for my take on the characters. These sketches are included in this post, the first being a Cd cover concept that sparked it all, which will be painted sometime in the near future.....just love that concept. 
From that rough sketch I began to finalize the rendering and think about the background setup. I had a high vantage point idea in mind and set to gathering reference and penciling the final line drawing to transfer to the skate. Once that was complete I knocked out a few color studies, honing down the palette I would use on the final, and dove in headfirst. About 30-35 hours later, this is the final product. 

I was extremely pleased with the finish, and unbeknownst to me.....the new TMNT trailer got dropped the same day, but it didn't kill my excitement for the completion of this piece. The reason for that is because no matter how strange of a take one might have on the concept, in the end I will always enjoy the idea of delving into childhood inspirations to create from. I believe there is a tangible connection and inspiration that occurs when imagining and drawing using some of the first things that sparked creativity. For fans of these series we created stories and worlds around these characters while watching them on TV, playing with the action figures, or dressing up as them for fun or holidays, resulting in a well of imagination to pull imagery from. 
During the process of creating this painting, I attempted to take that leap and delve into those stories and worlds I had created. I always envisioned Donatello as such a badass, being so skilled with the "Bo" and simultaneously being the "brains" behind the crew. With that in mind I set out imagining my quintessential Donatello in color and expression. I also tried to imbue many of the other fascinations that I attached to the turtles, and inspirations that were created from this obsession. Many of those elements can be seen in the painting such as samurai weaponry/armor, and the aura of the big city. 
Painted in acrylic, I changed my approach on this piece, and others I have been working on, painting the focus first, and the secondary elements last. I generally enjoy working back to front, unifying tones and color as I move to the focus. I have attempted to change this process, and I am enjoying the results. 
The final painting was then captured, and mailed off to Missoula for the online auction. 

Follow the links below to bid on the deck, and all of the other great works in this year's showcase. 
Proceeds from the sales go to the Montana Skate Park Association for building and expanding the skatepark and skateboard scene in Montana, a great cause. I real honor and pleasure to participate in this show, and to have an opportunity to create personal works. 

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