I admit I painted Thor in part because I really, really wanted to paint Loki.
It’s not just Tom Hiddleston’s glorious face (although, obviously, that’s not an insignificant part of it), or the fact that since I’m not that into long-haired blondes, Loki is my default option. I don’t necessarily have a thing for supervillains who enjoy murdering dozens of people or have delusions of ruling the world (but I could, because, well, Tom Hiddleston). I love Loki because I can selfishly empathize with the guy. I bet we could finish each other’s sentences. Really. I mean, as long as they were about being the younger, less charismatic child, all-star, golden-boy siblings, and parents with high expectations.
I understand that’s the whole point. The Successful Superhero always has flaws that we fall in love with as we watch them save The Girl or Humanity or The World. I remember flipping through my sister’s X-Men, Superman, and her Image Comics collection, searching for the empathetic, smoking hot, female superhero. I would have liked for it to have been Jean Gray, Rogue, or Witchblade. Marrow was the only one that came close.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I found my identity – nearly two decades later – most closely tied to a jealous, supervillain space Viking. We can’t all be perfect. Loki would probably agree.
[I know I kind of screwed this one up because his hair obviously isn't dark enough...but hey, that just means I get to paint him again, right?]
At a massive group dinner in Paris that included most of Sram and some of People for Bikes, I met Ryan van Duzer. Between talking about Japan and eating cured meats, I showed him my Instagram feed and what I'd been up to for most of the year. He seemed impressed. And because I have a hard time understanding why anything I do would be noteworthy, I was confused and flattered.
So when he suggested I paint Lucas Euser - "he's a really nice guy," Ryan said - I wrote it down. Because Ryan's a nice guy, and even though I am fully aware that nice guys can have dick friends, I like to keep hope alive. So I Googled. I Instagram-stalked. I prepared a plate.
It was supposed to be fairly simple, with just a little shading. It was supposed to be my "reward" for wading through a portrait that was supposed to be finished last week but got washed down the drain instead. Instead, I spent twelve hours on Lucas' face, and came up with this.
Thanks, Ryan for the suggestion. And thanks Lucas, for having a pretty nice face.
I've been back from Paris for a few days now, with a suitcase full of delicious stuff (chocolate! caramel sauce!), time spent with some new friends (Ryan van Duzer! The Grubers!), good memories made with old friends (Alex W.! Dave Chiu!), and a nasty cold that's turning into walking pneumonia (I haven't stopped coughing since the Tour ended).
But here's some stuff I was up to while I was in Paris...
[More pictures from Paris are here!]