extraterrestrial reference

If you seek to paint that which does not exist… make it exist! Usually, I’m not big on showing reference photography for my illustrations to the public; photos of models often appear stiff and posed and can sometimes take the magic away when seen alongside their painted incarnations. However, in this case my process was a little different from the norm. For this latest project I’ve been sketching dozens of potential aliens, which is great for stretching the imagination, but can be difficult to pull off in a realist sense. In order to bring these characters to life in convincing lighting and form, I realized it was time to break out the Sculpey and create the thing in three dimensions. A favorite illustrator of mine, James Gurney uses this technique all the time in order to realistically paint dinosaurs and other never before seen creatures. I didn’t want to give away too much so the above photo will have to sate your curiosity for now… the real thing is coming soon!