March 14, 2012After 27 studies, workups and numerous painting attempts, I hit the wall on the Bob Paul assignment last week. My good friend John Boessenecker did not think the last attempt captured Bob Paul's visage like I had on earlier attempts. The problem is, in one of the only known photos of Paul he looks rather bloated and heavy. I wanted to show him a little more trim and fit, in fighting form. John thought that I had nailed Paul's facial appearance in this study—number 13:
The problem with this study is his body is too short, especially from the waist down. And this makes the rifle ridiculously short. So I needed to expand this and it was very difficult, for me. After a half dozen attempts, I ended up here:
John did not like the face and thinks it is way too thin. So I took a water filled brush and blurred out the right side to expand it. A very chancy proposition. That gave me some width and I tweaked it adding back the eyes, etc. and that got me to here:
John still felt this was not quite right and he kept referring to Bob Paul number 13, so on a long shot, I brought that study in to the True West World Headquarters this morning and scanned it at 600 dpi, gave it to our production manager, Robert Ray, and asked him to put it in Photoshop and see how much of a train wreck it would be to marry the two images. Within fifteen minutes, Robert Ray came up with this:
As you might have already guessed, John loves this and they want to use if for the cover. Amazing. I still need to redo the painting for John's wall with the right face on it, but for now, this mash-up will have to do.
Considering I have a wedding in the back yard to attend this weekend, and a week in Mexico dodging cartel convoys, I am quite grateful to Photoshop AND the skills of Robert Ray. Speaking of new technology and how ridiculous people are about it. . .
"Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia."
—Dr Dionysus Lardner, University of London professor, 1840