"Toy Cap Gun" Oil Painting by John Morfis

Toy Cap Gun Painting

"Toy Cap Gun" Oil Painting by John Morfis

I borrowed this old cap gun from a friend.  I had one really similar to it when I was younger, in fact it’s been so long I have no way of knowing how similar my cap gun was to this one.  Maybe I had this exact one?  Who knows.  Either way I can remember receiving the cap gun for Christmas when I was 7 or 8 years old.  I remember there was snow on the ground and all I wanted to do was go outside and run around and play with the toy.

So while this particular toy I was painting wasn’t mine exactly it definitely brought back some old memories.  I think that’s how it works with many of the collectors of my artwork.  I paint many nostalgic items and they often resonate with people.

I prepared the blue panelling for the backdrop specifically for this painting.   I actually did this in a peculiar way.  Bear with me…

I laid out the cap gun in it’s holster on my workbench and started going through an old Benjamin Moore paint-chip deck I had.  I picked a blue I thought complemented the mostly brown hue of the holster.

From there I mixed up some acrylics to match the paint chip as close as reasonably possible.  Next I used a 6-inch paint roller to roll it onto the panelling.  Yes, indeed much prep-work just for a background for a single painting, but these are the kinds of depths one occasionally must go through to make an impactful work of art!  Besides, I had a feeling I could use the panelling for some other paintings later on as well.  I’ve actually got myself a little collection going on, of different colored backgrounds that is!

I spent a ton of time working out the drawing, long before I even decided the final size of the painting.  There were many details to get right and this kind of drafting-work simply can’t be rushed.

toy cap gun rope in progress

Needless to say this painting did take a long time to complete.  I really enjoyed the process however and might have to repeat the subject matter again in another way.  One of my favorite areas of this painting was the toy gun’s holster.  It’s made of cardboard and has the graphics printed right on it.  For an old toy this was an especially cheap thing to do but I guess it wasn’t meant to last very long.

Regardless, I loved mixing up the slight value changes in color to convey the various planes of the holster.  There was one major plane facing the light (towards the right) and one major plane facing away from the light.  The graphics bent right around the planes and I loved painting that.  It required just the slightest shift in value to showcase this three dimensional aspect of the holster.

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