Monday, November 22, 2010

The Early Painted Art of Albert Bigley! Hulk! Captain America! Marvel Comics!

At long last! I was finally able to photograph these over-sized (around 2 by 3 feet) masterpieces for the panting public to view! That first Hulk "origin" image was painted by me in late 1978, with tempera paints, based on and inspired by the ubiquitous HULK magazine covers painted by Kenn Barr, Bob Larkin, and others! Done simply on drug store poster board (then fully framed under glass yet!), I spent weeks studying shading, cast light, rim lighting, even Bill Bixby's caricature from a recent issue of MAD! Don't laugh too much now--this won not only first place in my 8th grade school-wide art show, but GRAND PRIZE as well! Heh. Click each image to enlarge!


Below is the follow-up painting. Based on a 60s TALES TO ASTONISH tale  (I saw the MARVEL SUPERHEROES cartoon adaptation rerun, not the original comic at the time), I included all the players from that comic! The Leader, Watcher (lifted from the cover of SON OF ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS)...A big improvement over the debut painting (same media, all bought from the local Revco. I can still smell that pungent egg-based tempera paint!), this baby won awards and acclaim at the local "Arts in the Park" 1979 spring event! It was a small town.

I've skipped ahead here, as I could not locate a few paintings, but this Captain America image was done in early 1980, using acrylics this time, still, alas, on cheap poster board (my discovering canvas was right around the corner)! Based on then-recent Captain America comics, I recall struggling to get more "pop" and realism into that mountain range in the background. Didn't work. You can even see the slathered-on layers used in this one, as I made constant "improvements" over and over...Never entered in any contests, but seen widely in my 9th grade "Art 1" class, this piece still made the rounds!

It's fun to look back at my early attempts to be like the painted cover superstars of the day, but now I marvel at the amount of time I could put into these pieces, and still make good grades in school, draw other things, read, enjoy hobbies, experiment with other art mediums, etc...None of it ever felt like work or making time for each discipline...Now it seems hard to multi task for only TWO projects running concurrently!

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