Dead Captain

captain 72 dpi

Recently completed painting for an upcoming project to be published by Goodman Games next year. 11×14 acrylic on panel. The dead astronaut is a subject I seem to be asked to return to again and again — years ago I did a similar drawing in BW ink. These days I’m trying to up my acrylic skills and I seem to end up attempting every painting 2 or 3 times — the first and second versions are usually abandoned halfway through when it becomes clear to me that I am unhappy with what I have done so far and need to make changes. Sometimes the problems are technical (i.e.: a problem with the way the paint is applying to the surface) and other times it is aesthetic. Sometimes starting over is easier than fixing what was flawed from the start.


5 Comments on “Dead Captain”

  1. vd says:

    when one thinks of decay means materials going pale due to weathering, biological processes and lack of maintenance etc etc but in space – if one assumes so called environment has failed to explain why this poor soul is booted and suited, everyone would still be pristine? do the laws of entropy still apply in vacuum?

    • Stefan says:

      The skeletal astronaut may not be realistic (I have no idea) but since I generally draw goblins and trolls and wizards and whatnot, biological realism isn’t a priority. My illustrations are intended to tell stories. This is the captain of the Warden — a “ghost ship” in space where the original crew died many hundreds of years before and the still functioning ship drifts through space. A perfectly preserved captain might be more realistic (I have no idea – if you told me that a body in a climate and temperature controlled suit would decay, I would find that equally plausible… I am no rocket scientist) but it doesn’t tell the story.

      • vd says:

        hey, i wasnt criticising the picture content, nor the image which is very striking. just ramblings from an idle mind pondering entropy and death; as they say “in the game of life, no one makes it out alive”.

      • Stefan says:

        No problem. I’ve painted and drawn this subject several times and when I share it online, someone always tells me that they think the astronaut’s flesh wouldn’t decay. I think if I drew a non-decayed astronaut in a suit, they wouldn’t look dead – they would just look like they were asleep or unconscious.

  2. There’s never an immortal astronaut, always a dead one. Let’s have a glowing-eyed star god!


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