With the disappointment that came with Star Wars: The Force Awakens still weighing on me, I gave tonght's Star Wars-themed Dr. Sketchy's SF a shot. It was an odd combination of lingerie and the iconic helmet design of the original Stormtrooper from Episode IV: A New Hope. I owned one as a kid and never imagined the faceless troops in gleaming white armor as being even remotely erotic. And there I was, decades later taking in a gender-bent life-sized costume-fantasy version of what I saw in the films.
Which brings me to Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens. It was our first time hearing a female voice coming from a stormtrooper's helmet and her silvery armor suggested in the trailer that she might play an important role in the film. It was a tease similar to the "red stormtroopers" that appeared in the Marvel adaptation of Return of the Jedi that turned out to be imperial guards and also delivered similarly wooden performances. In either case, the prospect of seeing something new and exciting was part of the draw to the sequels. New worlds, new creatures and vehicles, all of that stuff made the Star Wars universe unforgettable.
I arrived without a strong black marker or brush pen and had to sacrifice a few poses to various levels of incompleteness. My plan was to use some of the brown walnut ink and white ink along with the white. The paper was from my 6" x 12" Pentalic® Nature Sketch. The white was from a small jar of Kuratake white ink and a Faber-Castell PITT white big brush pen. I had a bottle from a former student was selling her homemade walnut ink at a reception for the spring book arts class at CCSF. It lacked the dark, inky quality of the Tom Norton Designs batch I got from an art store years ago, which also dries with a nice sheen.
I started with broad washes of the ink of various sizes in preparation for short and long poses. The smaller ones ended up working well for single compositions rather than small ones on each block of color.
Our model's slender physique worked well with the long format of the paper and forced me to push things deep into caricature. The classic silver border from Kenner's original Star Wars toys found its way into several of the sketches.
The helmet also seemed just a bit too big on the petite model, so I had fun playing with that aspect as well. Dr. Sketchy's has always been a place where I could test new tools and techniques with fun and original subject matter. The venue also lets me practice quick decision making and risk-taking in ways that I often forget to do in traditional life drawing classes and with location drawing.
There will be another Dr. Sketchy's SF on January 16 with a Disney/Star Wars mashup theme that should be fun.