Star Wars Art Awakens the Force of Childhood Nostalgia


Dubbed “Childhood Revisited,” this sequence of Star Wars artwork by Matt Cauley was motivated by his assortment of classic Star Wars action figures.

Star Wars Art: The Trooper by Matt Cauley
The Trooper (tempera and ink resist on board, 10×8)

New York artist Matt Cauley has been identified for his wonderful and electrifying acrylic portraiture—but his Star Wars art can take a pretty distinct technique. Dubbed his Childhood Revisited collection, the playful paintings ended up impressed by the Classic Kenner Star Wars action figure line the artist gathered as a boy or girl.

“These paintings have been a enjoyable experiment,” Cauley claims. “Since nostalgia plays this sort of a large function in my existence, I made a decision that instead of portray portraits of people today, I would endeavor to paint ‘portraits’ of my childhood toys. These were being the toys my mom experienced purchased for me some 30 to 40 yrs back, so there are all of people extra recollections and associations with the topic subject.”

Star Wars Art: Lizard Man by Matt Cauley
Lizard Male (tempera and ink resist on board, 10×8)

Powering the Star Wars Art

The paintings are made in ink and tempera, working with a resist course of action that makes a modest sense of kind and a energetic area when retaining a robust graphic top quality.

Here’s a stroll-by of the novel procedure:

  1. Outline & Paint Surface: Cauley commences with a very tight define drawing on illustration board, then makes use of white tempera paint to fill in all the areas outside the line do the job. This produces a surface area that is painted totally white other than where by his pencil traces are still left uncovered.
  2. Utilize Ink: After the paint dries, he applies big places of ink above the total floor, commonly going with colours a great deal darker than these he would like in the ultimate piece, these kinds of as blacks, browns, and dim blues.
  3. Rinse: Once this stage dries, he positions the board in a sink beneath operating drinking water. Utilizing his fingertips, he step by step helps the tempera paint dissolve and “sculpts” with the ink that is left powering. The remaining darkish inks build the illusion of both an engraving or a woodcut, based on how much ink erodes for the duration of the rinse course of action.
  4. Tint: After the painting is dry, he tints parts on the board to finesse the shade.
Star Wars Art: Bounty Hunter by Matt Cauley
Bounty Hunter (tempera and ink resist on board, 10×8)

In accordance to Cauley, section of the excitement of doing work this way is that he never ever very appreciates how the graphic will convert out. The precise last appear is dependent on break up-next conclusions he would make though he’s jogging drinking water throughout the image.

Associated: Star Wars Art: How Carl Samson Painted an Oil Portrait of Padmé

Inventive Cross-Instruction

Cauley is equally cozy with great art portraits and illustration, and he values the cross-training each individual of these pursuits has supplied.

“For me, it does not issue no matter whether I’m portray an graphic of a buddy or product, or sculpting and crafting a superhero or sci-fi character,” he states. “They all use the same simple approaches of paint, likeness, and developing of sort, irrespective of the subject subject. My paintings are knowledgeable by my graphic structure, just as my toy design and style is affected by my illustration capabilities. The structure rules are applicable, regardless of whether the art goes on paper, canvas or digital screens, or is molded in plastic.”

Star Wars Art: Bad Motivator by Matt Cauley
Negative Motivator (tempera and ink resist on board, 10×8)

Indeed, Cauley’s portraits convey an intensive and considerate exploration of the way men and women relate to the environment and every single other. This is absolutely informed by his childhood fascination with the Star Wars narrative, in which modest human dramas enjoy out versus a qualifications of epic forces.

Are We Finished Still? acrylic on canvas, 30×24

Linked: Painting Emotions in Acrylic

What is Future in the Star Wars Artwork Assortment?

Cauley has found collectors who share his passion and nostalgia, and get pleasure from amassing his paintings of the toys they grew up with.

“There were additional than 100 Star Wars figures established for the classic line, and I hope to ultimately have paintings established of all of them,” suggests Cauley. “It feels great staying ready to share these childhood memories with people today who have equivalent memories.”

To keep up-to-date on new releases, adhere to Matt Cauley on Instagram.

A edition of this tale initial appeared in Artists Magazine.

Meet the Artist

Matt Cauley, artist
Explore Matt Cauley’s artwork at

Matt Cauley has an in depth background in the visible arts. Born in Dallas, he moved to New York in 1992 to show up at Parsons College of Style, getting his BFA in Illustration. Whilst there, he identified a adore for portrait painting, and he has ongoing his painting scientific tests at the School of Visible Arts below the steering of renowned artist John A. Parks. man and group exhibitions, most not long ago at the Plaxall Gallery in Queens, N.Y. He will make his house in New York Town. In addition to painting, Cauley is also an achieved illustrator and toy designer.