Monday 4 January 2016

Star Wars: For The Love Of The Force

December 5th, was the day I was born back in 1977, a few months after a little known movie called Star Wars happened.

Fast forward to Dec 5th 2015 and I attended the Manchester Star Wars convention "For The Love of the Force" as an artist. This all happened at the 11th hour, very last minute and of course I jumped at the chance to attend. I was asked, along with several other artists to create a drawing on an 8 ft tall board live, during the opening hours of the three day event. Each artist was given a particular character and I got Luke Skywalker.

Luke, taking shape. Notice the small pen 
drawing stuck on the board.

I was inspired by the early Star Wars posters and the Marvel comics as drawn by Howard Chaykin. I wanted something of that look, wherby Luke didn't necessarily look like Mark Hamill, but more generic and dynamic. Luke as a character, playfully done rather than as portrayed by an actor.

Luke "He-Man" Skywalker, as I live
and breathe... as finished as it's gonna get.

I have rarely, if ever drawn something on such a large scale and to be honest I wish I'd done it differently. The lines I feel should have been thicker and scaled up; despite the board being so tall, I stuck with my brush pen and it doesn't seen to carry enough weight on a large scale. That said, it was okay and I was still hugely proud to have it standing along side truly brilliant artwork...

Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Han and Chewbacca... Wrreew!

Han Solo was drawn by Manchester artist Richard Shields and created entirely out of X's and O's which represent X-Wings and TIE Fighters. A meticulous process which saw him working one night until 3.00am. I owe Richard a huge debt of thanks for getting me into the convention, purchasing a Han Solo print (he has print copies for sale of a previous version) was the least I could do... also a bloody great souvenir of an incredible weekend. 

Unfortunately I didn't meet David Prowse, however I did briefly chat to Garrick Hagon, who played Biggs Darklighter and John Simpkin, who not only played several Stormtroopers in Return of the Jedi but also Klaatu (one of Jabba the Hutt's henchmen). The latter was was very appreciative of my work and knew where I was coming from with it.

The other artists, not in order are Clyve Bonelle, Gemma Parker, Joy Gilleard, Kim Thompson, Ronnie Crowther, Tasha Wittle and Zeyd Ayoob. The guy who painted Vader is missing from that list, will get back to you on that one...a fantastic job whoever you are!

Loving the Jawa. The final group shot.

This is me (on the left) locked in a light saber 
duel with buddy Peter Adams.

My gorgeous and pregnant girlfriend Rachel Hooper. 

I did it, honest.

"Luke, use the force and run, 
run to Dagobah, run to Dagobah..."

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