The Ancient Kaiju Inceptionism Project…

(Originally published on 5/21/2014)

…and other big things painted over pre-existing art)
This post is about my most recent project which focuses on learning to master traditional looks by painting Kaiju’s and other big things in existing classic landscape paintings.
This is a project I´m really passionate about. Roughly inspired by the thriftstore painting movementthat started somewhere in 2010. Today there is still a trend to remix existing traditional works of low value to create something new of either equal or higher value.

But this is something I´m not interested in, for one thing it is an ethical question to vandalize original artworks and there is no learning curve attached to it – so in this regard it does not make sense to me.

My approach is about learning.

Structure, lighting and paint strokes used by the original artists have a sophisticated signature – emulating a similar look in Photoshop without even touching the original is exciting! All the objects you see below are painted by hand with the use of a Wacom Cintiq pen display. The difficulty lies in recreating the brushes, the strokes and the general mood.
It requires a keen understanding of working in Photoshop, painting and art in general.

The result is a series of mash-up-artworks that are both; a declaration of love to the old Hudson River School and a tribute to the popular modern cult icons of our times.

There is also another edge to the subjects of these creations that could go by unnoticed to the casual viewer, but there is an important message that does lift the series above any master-copy and that is the following art-statement:

“Nature always wins”.
One could argue that this is not my work or a copy or whatever. I gave that a lot of thoughts to be honest. A quote by Warren Criswell brought some different perspective to this:
“If you are a true artist and not a copyist, no matter how much you covet the work of others, what you produce is going to be uniquely yours.”

Is the work resulted from this experiment uniquely mine? Do I covet the work of others? No to the latter. If this series is uniquely mine is not up to me to decide, however, so many people who have commented on this and who came to me on conventions or exhibitions have shown me that I have created something of a unique value to them. Many have also tried to do the same (even many of my students as this is still one of my favorite assignments to them) but it seems no one is going the extra-mile. Which in my case is to put straight 80+ hours of work including research into any piece you see below.

Millenium Falcon at the mountains / Orig. by A.Bierstadt
Abandoned AT-ST in the Forest – Orig. by H. Böhmer
AT-ST- Painting Process

Digital Overpainting representing an AT-AT Walker in an Albert Bierstadt painting called Among the Sierra NEvada
AT-AT Among The Sierra Nevada – Orig. by Albert Bierstadt

process development here
Close up of the AT-AT overpainting image
Close up – here
Cthulhu and the ninth wave / Orig. by Ivan Aivazovski

The Iron Giant at the lake in the mountains by Switzerland original background by Alexey Svrasov
The Iron Giant at the lake in the mountains by Switzerland / Orig.
by Aleksey Savrasov—
Overpainting with a Kaiju - Otachi/ Pacific Rim inspired - in a painting by Thomas Moran where he painted himself painting the Juniata area - including the Kaiju which is a funny tribute and loveletter to the Hudson River artists
A Kaiju Evening At The Juniata / Orig. by Thomas Moran

A Visitor In Yosemite Valley / Orig. by Albert Bierstadt
Digital overpainting of Godzilla in the mountain by Hermann Herzog
Godzilla In The Mountains / Orig. by Herrmann Herzog

Digital overpainting of a Kaiju - Leatherback - in California Spring painting by Albert Bierstadt
California Spring /Kaiju Spring Fever / Orig. by Albert Bierstadt
Photoshop screenshot of Kaijufornia spring painting in progress
Kaiju Spring Fever – Sketch Phase
A mashup of Studio Ghibli´s brainchild Howl´s moving castle which was painted over an existing artwork by Albert Bierstadt called Staubbach Falls
Howl´s Moing Castle at Staubbach
Falls Switzerland near Lauterbrunnen / Orig. by Albert Bierstadt
Step-by-step process of the Moving Castle in the Staubbach environment
Laputa: Castle In The Sky Over Achensee / Orig. by Franz Richard


Video Process:

Close Ups here:

As a disclaimer I have to state here that I have done these works with the primary intention to learn and all artworks belong to the public domain as far as I could make up sources.

This Project is featured in a wide variety of websites and Magazines on the web. I thank everyone for the support and give permission to re-post or re-blog this material.
I will keep this page udated when new artworks are finished.
Some noteworthy articles that were brought to my attention can be found in the list below, thanks for the effort in writing about my work, much appreciated!

About the Author Oliver Wetter

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