Second grade–and yes, I know that I look like a VW driving down the road towards you with both doors open. What you don’t see was the way my ribs stood out like xylophone keys in an old cartoon.
There was never a medium look for me–before I attained my human fire-hydrant physique in my teens I was so skinny that my mother wouldn’t let me take my shirt off at the beach for fear that people would think she was starving me…
Taken sometime in 2012: there is a scar from the post-cancer plastic surgery but I can’t tell if it is from the first or second procedure. Never mind; the important part of this photo is on the viewer’s right, i.e., my beautiful Saxon princess who I carried away after painting myself blue and jumping the wall one summer’s evening long, long ago.
I learned early on that good reference material get you a good painting. I have file cabinets full of clippings laboriously collected over the years but I find that even with all of those images available I usually end up shooting new photos for each project. It’s better to have a photo tailored to your design than it is to tailor your design to the reference you have on hand.
I have also found that even with the ba-jillion images available via the Internet I still have to set up shots. Google “The Romulan Starship ‘Buzzard’s Breath'” and you’ll get 100K results… but 998K of the images will be the same identical shot.
I don’t set out to use myself as a model but I often find it so much easier to do so. With this cover painting I wasted 45 minutes trying to get my model into the desired “crazed cult-member pose,” and in the end I had to pose while he took the photo. My only regret is that I couldn’t keep my McGuyveresque locks into the painting.
You never know beforehand who the best models will be either. I tried using one of Lori’s drop-dead gorgeous friends for a FASA Star Trek piece but the girl had no acting “muggability” at all. The gentleman who posed for the soldier in this painting verbally worried about “everyone in the neighborhood staring at him” during the shoot despite the fact that there were two, maybe three kids (no adults) within a four-home radius.
Dimensional illustration was a niche specialty that saw most of its popularity in the ’80s and ’90s. The term referred to sculptural work that was photographed and used as illustration in lieu of flat work and it did well enough to warrant its own annual awards presentation (I won a Bronze Medal in 1993 for an interior I did for Amazing Stories).
I did several dimensional pieces for my friend Charlie Ryan at Aboriginal Science Fiction but the overwhelming influence of computer-generated imagery smothered the use of “real” dimensional work.
This is how I imagined the Mote Warriors from the SF classic The Mote in God’s Eye; the environment measures 16″ X 24″ X 8″ and is built of wood, Bondo, plastic, paper and paint. The figure is made of Super Scuply and Pro-Mat.
Photography by Roy Buckener of Kennesaw Creative.
From the collection of Jeff Barnes.
(I apologize in advance if you get this image twice. I’m still learning the ropes what gets forwarded where when I post something here)
I made this model while doing pre-production design for Space:1889. GDW handled visual aspects for the game series in the same way a movie would be designed out before any film rolled.
Why the model? I knew the ship would appear quite often and I wanted convenient, consistent reference. It began as a simple I-board mock-up hovering between 1:54 and 1:72 scale-wise and painted overall primer grey to aid photography…but when I saw how good it turned out I finished it off, giving it a full-color paint job, adding Ral Partha miniatures for crew and using period-correct ship fixtures purchased from Flying Dromedary Inc.
I was very selective about showing it for the first couple of years as it was part of the whole Space:1889 design package for which I had been paid a retainer – I was a little concerned that I’d have to give it to them. Luckily Frank was feeling gracious the day I asked about it and “gave” it to me.
Many fan-built ships differ slightly because the first published drawings of the Aphid show differences from mid-point aft to the propeller. I found that as I was making the model some aspects of my first design looked fine from just one angle – but appeared pretty clunk when viewed in the round.
Taken in 2000. I wish I could have just frozen everything right then. Dipped my face in wax or resin. It was just about this time that ankylosing spondylitis was positively diagnosed and my doctors started running me through every NSAID in the world.