These last few months have been pretty interesting; I would call it the months of the skulls! Recently, Disney unveiled Shanghai Disneyland's Treasure Cove and announced a new attraction for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride called Battle of the Sunken Treasure and I was pleased to find out they used the bird's-eye view painting I did for the cove.
A bird's-eye painting is more like an artistic blueprint of the project. It is the painting that synthesizes all the different attractions of the land and gives a first look at the big idea. These paintings are key in the development process, as it is the first time everyone can see what the park will look like, agree on the layout, and move forward with the project. All details have to be in the painting from the very beginning, which means it can take me several weeks to paint. A project of this magnitude doesn't happen without revisions. As the process moves forward many things can shift; whether there are budget adjustments, new technical requirements or changes in artistic direction. This requires me to work quickly, sometimes radically changing an entire section of a painting.
As I was looking at the pirate flag floating on top of the fortress, I was also in the middle of another skull and bones painting for a book cover called Shield and Crocus by Michael R Underwood. It is a fantasy story that takes place in the ancient city of Audec-Hal, build among the bones and skull of the miles-tall Titan named Audec.
I have a fascination for skeletons and especially skulls; so needless to say, I was instantly hooked. I was asked to depict a distinctive and evocative urban landscape with a sense of scale, something epic. I had a very clear idea where I wanted to go right from the start. Establishing the mood and palette came fairly quickly, while the architectural details took longer but were the most fun. This ended up being a painting that is easily listed among my favorites is going to be among my favorites.
This painting will be among many others on display at the San Diego Comic Con July 23rd to 27th at my booth #4503. I hope to see many of you there.