Unrequited Cyclopes Love, painting in Oil

I’ve been very busy of late, traveling to conventions, painting, and taking care of my daughter. So busy that I’ve been neglecting my blog. In an effort to rectify that I decided I would talk a bit about a painting I just finished for the Discovering a Muse Challenge on the Art Order Blog. The image criteria is that it resemble the model Veronika Kotlajic and embody the words, Strong, Independent, and Sexy.

I was really excited about the scope of the challenge, but I have to admit the standard sexy fantasy girl is not my forte, or the sort of thing I usually like to paint. So I wracked my brain and came up with a few concepts, but none of them worked. About a month ago when I was on a long drive to Texas, my buddy and I bounced around ideas. I mentioned wanting to do a piece where a girl was wearing big steampunk hands and was punching a monster in the face. He latched onto that, and the more I let the idea sit I liked it!

When I got home I started doodling and came up with the following small sketch:

Doodle by Sam Flegal

After scanning it I brought it into Painter X and added a few quick details:

Digital Doodle by Sam Flegal

I printed that out real light, and then did the following sketch over the top. As I worked things out I decided to make the Cyclopes a Steampunk Gentlemen Cyclopes, so added a top hat and tailcoat. In order to bring it home I gave him a monocle on the hat:

Sketch by Sam Flegal

I scanned that in and used Painter X to start fixing it. I realized the arm position was wrong. I then started thinking about what was going on. Why was this lady punching a Steampunk Gentlemen Cyclopes in the face? I decided that she was waiting for her boyfriend so they could have a lovely Steampunk dinner, but the Cyclopes loved this girl too, so he ate the boyfriend and then approached the girl to ask her out… In order to drive it home I added the candlelit dinner in the background, and a dozen roses falling out of the Cyclopes’ hand:

Digital Sketch by Sam Flegal

I then poured through the reference of Veronika and found a couple faces I could use to get the angle and lighting I wanted. I then shot a number of additional references, including your truly as the Cyclopes. I then did a final Sketch:

Final Sketch by Sam Flegal

After scanning that in I printed the sketch out light on a 12 x 16 sheet of Strathmore 500 Bristol Paper. I then did the following drawing:

Drawing by Sam Flegal

Repeating the process I then did a 12 x 16 inked version:

Brush and Ink Drawing by Sam Flegal

Repeating the process again I mounted a print of the inked version onto massonite board, and then did a full oil painting, that I scanned in and did minor digital enhancement to:

Unrequited Cyclopse Love by Sam Flegal

All in all I’m pleased with the results. I had a lot of fun painting it and hope you like it too!

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