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Tutorial: My Painting Process (Alien)

Over the years, many inquisitive fans have asked me about my painting process. It's pretty simple, really. Most of the emphasis is not stressing on drawing every tiny detail, but it's about capturing the mood and lighting just right. I really admire Rembrandt (see my Rembrandt post here) and his attention to the reflection of light on his subjects. I'll be using my latest Alien painting as an example for a step-by-step tutorial on how the process works. Step 1: I start the whole process out as a monochromatic underpainting, usually as a sepia tone. I paint all of my work alla prima (painting it all at once instead of using pencil). Step 2: I sketch in all the main character elements that are important to the composition. Here is the time I think about size and eye flow in a painting. Still working monochromatic at this point. Step 3: This is the final stage in the underpainting. The background elements go in and the final shading occurs. Once dry, I begin color application. Step 4: The final color stage as well as painting the really small details and highlights comes in here. This is the fun part, when you get to see a painting come together. And that is generally the basic structure for how my painting process works each time. It may seem difficult to others, but it works very well for me. If you have any other questions, always feel free to ask! I love what I do and wouldn't change a thing. The most important thing for each artist is to find one's own style. What works for you may not work for others. Whatever process feels most comfortable is the right one for you. You can find me on Facebook at Horror Artist Chris Kuchta's Gallery of the Macabre and on Twitter at @Bloodedemon. Also DeviantART as bloodedemon and I'm now on Pinterest.
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Spooky Empire May-Hem Convention

I'm in Florida right now for Spooky Empire's May-Hem Convention in Orlando this weekend and I'm hoping to see some of you there! Halloween Extreme is included this year, which is a Halloween, horror and haunted house extravaganza. There's also a tattoo festival, a zombie paintball shoot, a zombie prom, a pumpkin carving contest, trick-or-treating for kids, artist demos, and a lot more. It's a great time and I'd like to see more familiar faces at this event!

I'll be vending my art as usual, so be sure to come by my booth! Here are a few new charcoal sketches that will be for sale at the show this weekend:

SEE YOU THERE!!!

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Mondo Poster Art Sale

Mondo has been releasing some outstanding works of art lately with poster sales to die for. I've always been a fan, but the recent horror prints are flat-out amazing. Three horror-themed prints will drop May 23rd (today) for sale on their site and they are FANTASTIC. I had a table at Texas Frightmare this year and was lucky enough to see these posters in person. Wish I could say that I contributed, but nope. I can only dream about this happening someday. Would kill to work with them!

The three new prints releasing are: WHITE ZOMBIE by Ghoulish Gary Pullin, THE THING by Randy Ortiz, and SON OF FRANKENSTEIN by Rich Kelly. I bought them ALL at Frightmare! You can view close-up teasers HERE and the official announcement of the sale with images is HERE. Pictured below is Gary Pullin's beautiful White Zombie piece that he shared on his artist Facebook page.

Ghoulish Gary Pullin's WHITE ZOMBIE Mondo Poster.

Other Mondo posters that blew me away were Jason Edmiston's really sweet EVIL DEAD 2 illustration and Randy Ortiz' killer ARMY OF DARKNESS poster. Check those out HERE. And be sure to visit mondotees.com

*Update! According to the Mondo Twitter page, all 3 prints sold out within a few MINUTES! Wow. Well, enjoy the artwork anyway! Check the artist's sites for info on how to obtain more prints in the future.

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Posters from the Vault: Shock Waves

Shock Waves (1977) is hands down one of my top 10 favorite horror films of all time. I've mentioned it before here, but I'll say it again. I am obsessed with this film – even after all these years! I used to watch it on TV late Saturday nights with my grandparents. Those are fond memories that have stayed with me, and I just love Nazi zombie movies!

The detail in this poster is amazing! Here is yet another perfect example of what works and why most mainstream horror posters suck today. It's all in the details! Notice how bright the colors are? It's crazy how many modern horror posters are mostly black with either a floating head or a lone man standing, looking up at something. Gets old quick!

There was a 35mm print of this screened at the Sci-Fi Spectacular Film Festival in Chicago last month! Unfortunately, since it wasn't playing until almost 5am, I couldn't stay for it. This was a 24-hour marathon, by the way! I was vending my art, so we had to pack things up and get to a good friend's house. I would've loved to have seen it there on the giant screen. Peter Cushing as the SS Commander legitimized the outlandish story with a solid performance. I compare this acting believability with Vincent Price in The Tingler, meaning that as long as Peter took his role very seriously, so would the audience.

My SHOCK WAVES painting!

And, in case anyone is not familiar with the movie, watch the trailer!!

“From beyond the dead, from beneath the living, from the depths of hell's ocean, everything they touch WILL DIE in the deep!!!”

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Sci-Fi Spectacular Film Fest with Frank Henenlotter

In early March, I spent a weekend in Chicago to show my work at the Sci-Fi Spectacular and to meet director Frank Henenlotter. The Spectacular is an annual movie marathon that was 24 hours this year, screening mostly 35mm prints of classic horror and sci-fi movies. These festivals are great for meeting a lot of different people who love this weird stuff and it's always nice to meet fans in person. Not to mention seeing all my Chicago buddies!! I displayed my monster paintings new and old, art prints, shirts, knickknacks, and my new illustrated book.

Firstly, I came to the Portage Theater on Friday night as a fan. Spent time with my wife and friends watching the Basket Case trilogy with an introduction by Frank Henenlotter. How cool is that for a Friday night? Frank's also made some fun body horror flicks like Frankenhooker and Brain Damage!

Frank discussed how he really didn't have plans or ideas for Basket Case 4 until very recently. The ideas seem to be brewing in his head now, so maybe this could very well happen someday. Independent projects are really hard to get off the ground, which is something he's struggled with a lot. Of course, any horror fan will say his work is amazing, disturbingly gross and hilarious all in one, so he's definitely got our support!

On Saturday, Henenlotter was around for quite a while throughout the day meeting fans at the Spectacular and introduced Brain Damage early in the evening with a hilarious Q&A! He stressed how important absurdity in horror is for making you laugh. He uses very loose outlines of scripts and mostly wings it. He's totally into handmade horror, which is hard to do properly without at least a decent-sized budget. His movies are visceral, gross, and wildly comical. He said he got tired and bored when doing stop motion, so he'd just kick the props! But it works for him. I love no matter what he does. It was extremely cool meeting him!

Here's my BASKET CASE painting!

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Mad Monster Party Con Exclusive Art

Mad Monster Party Con is this weekend and I've created a few drawings to be sold as limited edition, exclusive prints! The convention season has begun! Last weekend, I went to Chicago to sell my work at a 24-hour sci-fi festival and meet director Frank Henenlotter! More on that in the next blog.

Today, I'd like to show you guys some drawings that will be exclusive for the Mad Monster Party Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina March 22nd-24th.

These are limited edition prints so keep that in mind when at the show! It's a great time and I look forward to seeing everyone again. As always, please stop by my table to say hi or just discuss movies! Check out the crazy list of guests here! Or check out my previous blog about this convention and the guests I'm looking forward to seeing right here! I will also have some copies of my new illustrated book as well!

Mad Monster Party is on Facebook!

Mad Monster Party Website

Hope to see you there!

 

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John Dies at the End with Don Coscarelli

Last weekend, I saw John Dies at the End which was presented by the director himself, Don Coscarelli! My wife and I made a trip into Chicago to see it at the Music Box Theatre. As you can see in the picture below, I was too busy chatting him up to think about posing. It happens! He's really nice and he signed some autographs for me. Cool guy. It was also great to hang out with some of my fantastic Chicago horror friends.

The movie is pretty good. It leans more towards Coscarelli's style in Bubba Ho-Tep than in the Phantasm films. It's just a really fun, trippy horror comedy. He said he didn't put much of the book in it, though there are certain familiarities for sure. The writing reminded me of A Scanner Darkly due to the snappy dialogue. The special effects are great. If I had to criticize anything, the friendship between the lead guys didn't feel very strong compared to the book. That gives some disconnect, but the movie was still damn enjoyable. It also has a Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer tone to it, too. I suppose it has a little bit of everything. Go see it!

 Another cool thing about John Dies at the End... Besides fun appearances by Doug Jones, Angus Scrimm, and Daniel Roebuck, one of my favorite modern illustrators worked on it! David Hartman aka “Sideshow Monkey” was the animator and he also acted as one of the spider victims! He's worked with Coscarelli before with Bubba Ho-Tep as an illustrator and the visual effects supervisor. Hartman does magnificent work. Check out his website here: Sideshowmonkey.com

I've done a few Phantasm paintings in the past. Here's a color piece of The Tall Man!

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Favorite Movies of 2012

The year 2012 was a great one in many ways, be it movies, art, or events. Art-wise, I had some interviews go to print, most notably with an awesome piece written by fellow artist Ghoulish Gary Pullin for Rue Morgue Magazine. I just released a debut book that is a complete portfolio of all my work, titled In Vivid Red: Horror Art By Chris Kuchta. I also did some concept art for a few projects that can't yet be discussed in case they end up happening! My career flourished as I pushed myself to be on the ball as much as possible. It wasn't easy, but I hit a good twenty or so conventions to display and sell my work, which required busting serious ass to get a new painting ready for each show. I like to offer s