Mike Rayahwk BrikWars
"BrikWars!" - 2003
(screen-size version)

BrikWars is a tongue-in-cheek wargame for construction-system toys, and it does its damnedest to cover every possible genre of fantasy warfare. For this poster, I tried to do the same, with mixed success - since completion, there's been a great outcry about the omission of giant robots. What kind of fool tries to have a war without giant robots?

(2015 update: After twelve years of complaining, I finally went back in and painted a giant skeleton robot into the background city. You're welcome.)

Detail: The Jaw-Jaw Horde
detail: The Jaw-Jaw Horde

As you might expect, this painting is peppered with in-jokes for the nerderati; I'll point out two in specific. In the left corner are the zombie-like Dimmies, enemies of construction quality and good taste, who breed in swarms and make intermittent dull-witted attacks on brick civilization. In the right corner are the filtheriffic Jaw-Jaws, eaters of sewage, maniacally determined to defile everything that is good and true. The two are the chief villains of the BrikWars universe, and both are less-than-subtle references to the lowest depths to which LEGO had historically sunk (prior to the Galidor theme, after which any further satirization is moot).
BrikWars! concept sketches
concept sketches

I went through a pretty good series of sketches for this one, it took a couple tries to figure out how to pack in all that chaos. (Special thanks to Alex Gross for help with that.)

All told, it took a pretty solid month or two to get this one finished.

It's funny to look back on these now, I can assure you that I got much better and faster at drawing minifigures once I got hired to do it full-time.

BrikWars! graphite drawing
graphite drawing

When I started this one, I was in the habit of starting with a graphite drawing, making a brownline transfer to vellum, wet-mounting it to board, and moving forward in oils.

I got this painting about half-finished that way before coming to my senses and scanning it into Painter instead. Thank goodness! I don't think I've touched a paintbrush since; I'll consider going back to physical media when science develops an "Undo" button for canvases.

The half-finished oil painting is still hanging on my studio wall; the graphite drawing now hangs in the collection of Shaun Sullivan somewhere in the depths of New Hampshire.

Mike Rayahwk
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