SHOP TALK: Rob Schamberger Newsletter 07MAY23
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.
Hi. My name's Rob Schamberger. I'm that guy who paints rasslers. And other stuff. Under the moonlight, the serious moonlight.
Croton’s are one of my favorite plants to see in Hawaii. Between the colors, the patterns and the speckled dots they’re almost like a real-life Jack Kirby drawing, which I really leaned into while making this painting. I noodled away at it over the course of the past few weeks as a warmup, going leaf by leaf and color by color, taking my time and enjoying the pure creation of it.
It’s been great for my emotional health too, I think. Art was my escape from life that eventually became how I make my living. It’s a very fortunate thing but it also creates its own complications. “Is this painting going to reach an audience? Did I pick the right subject so that I can sell enough prints? Am I progressing enough as an artist?” Those thoughts exist right along with my gratitude, and it’s nice to make some art just for the joy of making it. That’s why a painting like this is just as important to me as one that brings notoriety or healthy sales.
Plus, it’s pretty and ‘croton’ sounds like a god from a Conan book.
ICYMI, here's last week's Canvas 2 Canvas episode. Turned out pretty swell in my opinion.
5/14 - Austin Theory
5/28 - Seth Rollins
6/11 - Brock Lesnar
Card subject to change.
ROCK VS AUSTIN WRESTLING LANDSCAPE
This week I officially started working on my next Wrestling Landscape painting, this time focusing on The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin. After spending Wednesday penciling it out, Thursday through Saturday went towards the black underpainting portion.
Friday night, when I was only about 2/3rds through the above I said to Katy, “This doesn’t look like I spent the past two days on it.”
“There’s no right or wrong way to make this, hon. Work at your own pace. No one’s judging you.”
“Especially now that I’m not on Twitter anymore.”
I’m going to do this as another acrylic glazing painting, so this underpainting portion is about defining the darkest shadows, the mid-tones and the highlights. Since I applied this neutral primer coat, I’ll next use white acrylic paint for the highlights and the areas where I’ll want the most vibrant colors. I’ll also use grey tones for the upper negative space area above the crowd to get some strong energy happening that will really sing once I get to the color portion.
I’m still rewriting my brain to accept this process, that I’ll essentially paint over all of this work but good gosh does it make a stronger composition once it’s all done. I’m excited to see how a full Wrestling Landscape painting looks when done this way.
WHAT I LIKED THIS WEEK
I finished reading the War of Kings omnibus and had an absolute blast cover to cover. It’s like everything we liked about Game of Thrones, except done with interstellar empires, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Inhumans and a lot of heart. I’m really impressed at the scope of all of this and how it actually felt like the telling of a war and not just a couple big battles. Multiple fronts, multiple styles of encounters and all through the experiences of the people involved. Really fantastic.
Star Trek: Lower Decks by Ryan North and Chris Fenoglio is a brilliant comic book spinoff of the animated series. The gang accidentally brings Count Dracula to life in the holodeck, a la Moriarty in Next Gen and we finally get space vampires in Trek. Unlike the nightmare fuel of that one episode of Buck Rogers, however, this is a ton of fun that perfectly matches the vibe and look of the series. I might have to wait until next month for more Star Trek TV, but this definitely scratched that itch.
Barry Season Four is off to an outstanding start, and the end of last week’s episode took a massive storytelling swing that I’m super excited to see where they go with it. I was thinking about the series the other day and I decided it reminds me a lot of the best of the Coen Brothers’s movies, especially the serious-yet-funny ones like Big Lebowski, Fargo and Barton Fink.
Years ago in a different life when I was trying to be a comic book writer, I was talking with an artist about fleshing out one of their concepts. It was the story of a girl being chased by circus clowns, but done serious. Like…clowns, but not done for laughs. I was talking with a buddy and he said, “Do it Coen Brothers-style serious,” and it was perfect. The project never happened, but there was a bit I still love where the girl head-butted a clown in the nose and we had a ‘HONK!’ sound effect.
Katy and I finally started watching Yellowjackets and we are OBSESSED. We’re only about halfway through the first season, so no spoilers please, but we’re fully sucked in by the mysteries around the stories being told here. It’s been super hard to focus on working this week, I can tell you.
Last Sunday we watched the first few episodes of the new Fatal Attraction series and got sucked right in. It’s a great reimagining and modernization of the classic 80’s erotic thriller, but done with a lot more empathy and context for the Alex character as brilliantly played by Lizzy Caplan. Episode three was especially well done.
We’re really close, friend. Friday afternoon we completed testing on Top Secret Project: CODNAME SABOTAGE so it should go live imminently. Next few days, unless yet another out-of-nowhere delay pops up. So. Many. Delays. I won’t get fully excited until it’s officially up and going, I won’t celebrate until it’s the success I believe it will be, but whatever part of me that’s able to be optimistic is pretty excited right now.
There will be an email with a fun contest once it’s up and going. You’ll like it.
I’m so vague!
It’ll make sense soon enough.
Love you more,
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