Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009
Went over to Grandma Betty's for Easter yesterday. Great feed, lots of fun. Got home around 5:30 and worked on the Mickey Free desert dust storm sequence. Here are my prep sketches:

I realized a couple weeks ago we didn't have any scenes of cavalry in the field and I have great reference from several Ford movies, not to mention Remington's own sketches (which ironically were used extensively by John Ford to capture his patented, but poached, movie look). So, here I am poaching from both:

The top image is of Mickey Free prior to his acquiring a jack mule as a ride. General Crook was in Mexico, after Geronimo, and as the army caravan traversed a steep cliff, a mule in front of Mickey slid towards the abyss, but caught itself on the rocks at the last second, then climbed out of danger, shook itself off and went back up the trail as if nothing had happened. Thus, Mick's comment.

Meanwhile, here is a nice pre-dust storm buildup as the troops ride into the tempest:

I really like the boiling nature of the clouds as they come right out to meet the soldiers. Had excellent army cavalry bridle reference thanks to Jim Hatzell, who sent me a series of photos from his annual Artist Ride of a trooper climbing a small hill. Jim shot it from a variety of angles (what we call "covering the dog") and he had a perfect closeup, looking up under the head at all that tangled, complicated cavalry bridle. Thanks Jim.

Finishing our June issue this week. I'm putting the final touches on the Wyatt Earp vs. Curly Bill at Cottonwood Springs Classic Gunfight today. Mark Boardman has a good copy of Wyatt Earp's original map of the fight and we are placing that in the layout even as you read this.

Going to New Mexico on Thursday with Ed Mell and Gary Earnest Smith on a plein air painting trip. So I've got to get my work done pronto.

"Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything."
—George Lois, legendary Esquire magazine cover designer

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