My god, it´s full of stars
Recently I have finished watching the fantastic second season of the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind (which I highly recommend if you like to watch an alternate history of the Space Race) and felt the need to get back to painting astronauts once again.
I guess space and astronautics are one of my favorites themes…I can´t help it!
Initial draft with graphite
And…what could be better than the legendary 2001, a Space Oddysey by Stanley Kubrick?
This is probably my favorite movie and one of the first ones I have ever seen in cinemas.
It had a significant impact on me when I was a kid, and I have been fascinated by it since then.
I have seen «2001» countless times and I always discover something new in each viewing, either some small details in the background or hidden meaning in certain scenes.
There are some amazing books about this subject with a lot of technical details and production pictures that I highly recommend, like this one published by Taschen.
A smooth final result
The subject for this painting is the astronaut Dave Bowman, probably the most sympathetic member of the Discovery crew. I know he doesn´t talk too much but at least he shows some kind of humanity unless his more cold-blooded partner Frank Poole.
For the painting, I have chosen one of the later scenes of the film: when he has passed through the stargate (yes, the black monolith was a stargate) and arrived in that strange room.
Hence the terrified look on his face—he has passed through quite an experience.
It was not my initial intention when I started painting, but the final result somehow looks like an airbrushed image.
I guess this is due to the brushes I have used for the portrait, which are pretty soft and doesn´t allow for very defined brushstrokes.
This is an interesting effect for painting smooth surfaces, like the helmet, although for faces and other features I think it would be better if I stick to harder brushes.
You always learn something new in each painting!