Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CHESTER And FESTUS From GUNSMOKE! More Conceptual Art From The Late 90's

Here's two more portraits I did for GUNSMOKE product, which was never produced, by The Mint in late '98-'99. Since I showed you Marshal Dillon in my earlier posts, now it's time to show you his sidekick/deputies...Chester Goode and Festus Haggen! Actor Dennis Weaver played the part of Chester Goode for the first ten years of the GUNSMOKE TV show and he was nominated for an Emmy in 1958 and in 1959 for his fine work on GUNSMOKE. He won the coveted Emmy in 1959. On the radio show version of GUNSMOKE, Chester's full name was Chester Wesley Proudfoot. When the TV was in early pre-production, Chester's last name was changed to Goode and Dennis Weaver gave him a physical limp, one which he never had on the radio show.

Chester was now suddenly gone at the beginning of the 11th season, which was weird because they never explained in the show what happened to or why Chester had in fact left (Weaver had left to pursue other acting opportunities such as McCloud), he was then replaced over time by Festus Haggen. Actor Ken Curtis went all out in portraying the great mountain man who helped Marshal Dillon on his latter adventures. He also added some comic relief in spots to lighten the seriousness of a given episode and played the part till the end of the series in 1975. Both of these pieces are inked with a brush on tan Canson art paper and then colored with pastels. A white colored pencil was used for highlights. I did these fairly big since I knew they were going to get severely reduced down in production and I wanted to keep the quality as high as I could. Also, as a little known tidbit, that all these pieces would have been burned in a hot steam press device that they had at The Mint. This device was kind of like a steam press for doing iron-on t-shirts and it burned any artwork to give it a weathered and old Wanted poster look to it as it would singe the edges. The thing about it was that you only got ONE change to do it right so your timing had to be perfect. Kinda like watching a piece of toast in the toaster oven. I honestly was scared to use it and thankfully they pulled the plug on the products so that I wouldn't have to deal with accidentally destroying my own work. I did have some test pieces to play with but I was nervous with them as well! Hahaha! Enjoy!

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