Went home for lunch today to finish up the final Billy the Kid paintings for the Capturing Billy the Kid Artshow at the Overland Gallery in Scottsdale next week.
This is a little piece called "Hillsboro Posse." It's based on a small canyon Ed Mell, Gary Ernest Smith and I spotted on our Billy plein air art trip last April. We were on the road from Hatch, New Mexico to Lakeside, when both Ed and Gary yelled for me to stop the car. They jumped out and shot dozens of reference photos. Not to be left out I shot a few myself and when I visited Ed's studio last week, I saw his landscape version of this canyon. I thought, I should do my own version:
I've been doing a whole series of Storm Riders and this one is nice and moody:
Never did get the Looming Billy I wanted for the cover of the current issue. This little study came the closest to what I wanted:
I've taken several stabs at a closeup on Billy's smile, and although this one isn't as sympathetic as I might have liked (especially to be commercial), it does have a demonic aspect of the Kid that rings true to me:
"I don't decide to write a book until I have no choice but to write the book."
—Jon Krakauer, Where Men Win Glory