Sunday, November 16, 2014

Painting the Outer Space Men

On Friday I visited toy inventor Mel Birnkrant and painted some of his "Outer Space Men" action figures in gouache. 

Gouache is an ideal medium for such a study because of its opacity and high tinting strength. You can also draw over the dry, matte surface with watercolor pencils or a white gel pen.

Today we'll be flying to Los Angeles to speak at art schools, theme park design firms, and animation studios, before spending next weekend at the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank.
Mel Birnkrant 
Outer Space Men website -- Read Mel's story of inventing some of the world's first action figures.
The Return of the O.S.M. -- Mel tells how he brought the figures back into production.
Mel Birnkrant's website, with other inventions and his incredible cartoon character collection.
Art Supplies
Watercolor sketchbook
Watercolor pencils
Travel brush set
White gel pen
Tutorial Video: Watercolor in the Wild
Download at Gumroad (Credit card customers)
Download at Sellfy (Paypal customers)
DVD (72 minutes, Region 1 encoded, with slide show)


Joel Wetzel said...

I misunderstood at first but now I get it. My misreading makes me wonder, could you paint with guache onto the figures themselves to good effect? Can guache be used on objects then clearcoated for customization?

The fact that I mistook your rendering for the actual figures says I'm coming to the right site.

Thank you, sir.

bill said...

You'll see the Nerdrum show at Copro won't you? I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.


Christopher said...

Hi James, Do you use all the paint you put on your palette, if not what do you do with the remainder?

James Gurney said...

Christopher, I used most but not all of it. I squeezed it out on a damp paper towel. When I had to take a break for a meal in the middle, I put a cover over the paint so it didn't dry out. I threw the remainder in Mel's trash can -- hope that's OK, Mel.

Mr. American Man, if you don't like American Women, I would suggest you try "Horroscope," the woman from Saturn, who according to Mel has "brains, wisdom and clear thinking," that is, if you can get used to her tentacles.

Joel, I have no idea about that use of gouache. I've begun experimenting with Holbein acrylagouache for such miniature painting, but I should leave your question to experts.

Bill, hadn't heard about the Nerdrum show. The schedule's a bit tight, so we might have to miss a lot.

Steve said...

Have to say, I enjoyed your reply to "American Man."

Matt Dicke said...

James can you talk a little bit about your color choices you used on your palette for this painting? Since the figures were so vibrant did you augment your usual gouache palette? Also for a travel set would you ever used gouache from dried pan that you made from tube color, say like watercolor? Thanks.

I like the look you are getting with the gouache. Has a loose oil painting feel about it. Hope you are still thinking about making a gouache tutorial.

Rich said...

Ha ha ha, you can be real funny James! American Man deployed his tentacles out to this foreign and alien blog.
"Horroscope" from Saturn with her tentacles may just fit perfectly, as you suggested.

We've got Gurney Journey Dating Agency here as well:-)

jeff jordan said...

Maybe American Man needs an "inflatable" woman. NOT made in the USA.

Unknown said...

Hey James,
Are you using an "Albertian Net" for your block in? I notice the grid on the early stages of you drawing. Thanks!