Very happy to announce that I'll be participating in 4 group shows this year with Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA. They are well known for curating pop culture shows and I'm honored to work with them!
I'm starting off the year with the first official Rick and Morty art show, which opens tonight at 7pm-9pm at Gallery 1988 West. Rick and Morty is a cartoon featured on Adult Swim. If you can't attend, the show is online (click here.)
There you can purchase the original (Update: sold) or 1 of 10 limited edition prints (Update: First edition sold. New 11x14 prints available for sale). Below is my chalk pastel piece titled "Rick" which will be in the show.
Sketchbook phase first. I needed to understand what made these characters look like "them". Learn the subtleties. I found that I needed to be careful with my line work and placement of the nose and eyes. Otherwise, they'll start looking like a muppet. After a few episodes, I eventually I got the swing of things. It's interesting that they make their pupils squiggly.
If you are unfamiliar with the show, it airs on Adult Swim and is moving along to a Season 3. This promo videos does better justice in explaining the show I think. Enjoy! It's hiliarious.
From the sketch phase. I collected reference photos from the show to get to know the color palette and wacky characters. My initial idea was to do a more illustrative piece, but even after a lot of process work, I decided against it. I love portrait work and that is what I sent the gallery when they accepted my portfolio. If I want to explore more illustrative work then it needs to be with another project. Always a good lesson to know it's ok to throw out hours of process work if the idea from the beginning is just not a right fit.
Time-lapse of my chalk pastel drawing of "Rick"
I wanted to make sure I didn't make Rick a nice guy. He is a selfish sarcastic old man who gets drunk all the time. I also really wanted to make sure he had a long face and hair that mimicked the same silhouette. And that uni-bro. I had to give it justice!
Below is my reference I used for Rick. Old gentlemen, uni-brows, and drunk people.
What about Morty?
After finishing my Rick portrait, I thought, "Why not do a complimentary Morty piece?" The deadline for the artwork was no later that Jan 6th and the gallery gave me the OK. I finished and shipped my Rick portrait framed and ready on the 22nd. I started a Morty portrait but realized I didn't want to rush it. Morty was a more difficult subject matter due to the fact that his character is made to be less interesting that Rick. I mean...it's not hard to make an eccentric drunk scientist with crazy hair into an interesting portrait. Also, Rick was an old man, which gave me many opportunities to play with lots of line work and interesting marks because of wrinkles. Morty is 14.
You have Morty who isn't very smart and below average in just about everything. His character is designed to look average. So it was a battle working out Morty's face while still trying to make his portrait stand alone. How to put in interesting mark making while still trying to keep him looking young and still in the same world as my Rick portrait? In the end, I decided it was better to just send in "Rick" for the gallery show and finish Morty as a fan art piece for myself. I'm happy with it and glad I took my time. And here he is.
To purchase the original Morty or get a Rick or Morty limited edition print contact Gallery 1988.
The reference photos I gathered when I envisioned Morty as a more real life character.
Rick and Morty is TM©Cartoon Network