Ric Stultz’s paintings struck me with their quirky, ‘hardware-based’ characters, soft tones and a depth that jumps from the canvas.
Ric, who is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, got into the work he does through a great deal of trial and error. Having been working steadily since graduating with a graphic design BFA in 2002, illustration gradually became Ric’s main interest. ‘One of my favorite things to do is paint and I’ve made it my full time job so I have plenty of time to work on images‘.
Ric includes beaches, rusty pieces of metal, Cormac McCarthy, his dog, David Bowie, homeless people, Jim Henson, tree frogs, Kentucky Whiskey and Fight Club on his list of influences.
Ric describes his work process for his paintings:
‘Everything starts in my sketchbook. When I come up with an idea I like I start work on it as a final painting. I start by drawing pencil outlines and then inking with g2 .07 gel pens and India Ink. I cover the entire image in a burnt umber gouache wash as an under painting. I find it easier to build color on a dark base instead of the white of the paper. Then I mix colors and start to build the image in gouache.
After the image is colored I go back in with a brush and India ink to reinforce the blacks. The last thing I do is paint out the background with a light layer of gesso. This along with the under painting gives the images their depth. I often paint each image twice, although sometimes I get it right on the first try. I’m looking for a certain feel with each piece and I know it when I get it‘.
© Ric Stultz, 2009
Ric is currently working on designs for skis for Armada Skis. He has just done an interview with the Chinese edition of Computer Arts and has sent some work to Barcelona for ROJO Magazine’s OCHO exhibition. Ric has a solo show opening at Hot Pop in Milwaukee, which he has been preparing for steadily through a great deal of painting.
MoonApe wishes Ric all the best for the future! Follow me on Twitter