As I mentioned in my last post, I have a book coming out and having seen the layouts on it I am really pumped. There are a few operas that I really was hoping to get to in this series but the opera company and I parted ways last year and now sadly, they are bankrupt and shut down (hmmmmm). In my early idea for this book I wanted to have 50 operas represented and should this book get picked up by a publisher, I will add more pieces to round it up to 50. But there are a few that I’ve always wanted to paint and this one is at the top of the list. Not because I’m a big fan of this opera, I’ve never heard it, it’s because I’ve always wanted to paint a knight in armor with wings. I think it’s the idea of the different textures, metal and feathers. In this opera the main figure Lohengrin arrives on a boat pulled by swans… so there you go. And as it turns out he is a holy knight on a holy quest so I’m setting this up so the swan sort of doubles as a halo and angel wings.
This post is also a tip of the fedora to technology. Where do you find a knight in armor? Nowhere near here that’s for sure. But consult the great god Google or his cousin Bing and there’s a wealth of imagery. But I could not find a suit of armor anywhere with a body in it and in the pose I wanted so on to youtube where I played through a bunch of medeival movie clips, paused, did a screen grab and printed out the reference. Did a couple of thumbnail sketches, scanned em and printed em up bigger and redrew using good old trace paper. Scanned those in and took pieces parts of the various sketches and assembled them into one. Used the pencil and airbrush tools to redraw and push values and cut and pasted a few parts and moved them around, dodged and burned… et voila! A merging of drawing and techno to make a medieval knight, how ironic. The painting is now under way and so far looks pretty good. and not for nuthin but if you are in Orlando and are remotely interested, the collection of opera poster paintings are there on the 5th floor of the Grand Bohemian along with some kick ass Dean Cornwell paintings (it’s worth a trip just for that.. seriously).