I know I promised a weekly update for the GI Joe fans, but that hasn’t happened. I’m in the throws of a massive project that will carry me over until late next year. That is the good news, the bad news is, it will be quite a while until I can talk about it. You know the drill… “Here is an awesome project you will really want to talk about, now don’t.”

All good though, it’s totally worth the wait. Not to be too cryptic, but the job involves Superheroes…”Nuff said!””

This week I have decided to show my painting for the “Pursuit of Cobra” Whiteout. Of all the figures I’ve painted in this line, he is one of the more straight forward. Basically a guy in winter gear.  That fact actually made him more difficult to pull off. With no jetpacks, armor, or doomsday devices strapped to his back, he kind of just looks like a regular dude. The way I tried to get around this was to give him a dynamic pose. I knew what I wanted and asked my wife to model for the reference photos this time.

Next I took a few additional shots to establish the expression and tone I needed for this illustration. Also I dug into my photo library to get Picts of gear; belts, pockets, boots, etc. I usually spend between one to three hours looking for the perfect reference. More often than not, I have to force myself to stop searching and move on.

Now that I had everything I needed it was sketch time. Same process as always, a quick rough which is refined to get a tight drawing. I can spend a few hours to few days on a clean line drawing. I know it’s more time than I should spend on something that will be completely covered in the end, but it usually saves me time when I paint. Think of it as a “Measure twice, cut once” type of approach. Again Hasbro sent me very good photo turn arounds of the figure as you can see below.

Hasbro White Out figure Ref photo.

Now on the the paint!  As usual, I start by blocking in my tones.  One thing to note is that I was very unsure about how to handle the face early in my painting.  My early attempts at the expression just didn’t work.  I decided after a few attempts to just paint the goggles over his eyes and save myself a ton of time and trouble.

 once I moved past the face, I spent most of my time rendering the gear.  Since he was originally supposed to be released with the “Rise of Cobra” line, the background began as the standard green plasma.  Later Hasbro made the decision to move him to the “Pursuit of Cobra” grouping so I changed it to blue.  Also, I repainted the black gear to a lighter gray as not to stick out like a sore thumb in the snow.  I used Corel Painter for this, and decided to use the FX fur brush for the hood as a starting point.  I then did a quick paint over to make it less “filtery” and boom, quick Fur!

Because this guy was packaged with a vehicle the art was cropped down pretty drastically.  Below is what remained on the retail box.

That’s it for this week, again sorry for missing the past couple of weeks.  More to come.  Please feel free to comment, subscribe and join me on Twitter for more updates!