Asuka: MosaicSchamberger Labs
Ink, acrylic and watercolor on bristol board
Artwork by Rob Schamberger
Printed on 11" x 14" 130 pound uncoated cover stock, perfect for framing!
I overall don't like to say nice things about my own work. It's a combination of never wanting to become complacent, old-fashioned midwestern humility and a cripplingly low self esteem.
But this is the single best painting I've ever made and I'm going to have a hell of a time doing better.
Continuing on with what I've done with recent mosaic pieces, I wanted to apply that approach to Asuka seeing as she's one of my favorite subjects and perfect for this. The thinking was to do a full representation of her persona in one piece.
The background elements are a faithful line-for-line recreation of a 16th-century Japanese illustration, speaking to her heritage. I included several of her masks, there as representations of the masks we wear before revealing who we truly are. Two of the panels are done using illustration techniques inspired by manga, namely Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo. It was crazy fun getting out of my comfort zone on those and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.
Doubling down on the idea of 'the masks we wear', there's two elements that are her face separated in half, taking inspiration from the way masks were presented in Total Recall. Those are from a photoshoot she did after first coming into NXT, again speaking to how Asuka has continued to evolve and further reveal her true self.
Finally, there's her current appearance with the green makeup, mostly done with a mix of liquid acrylic and then inkwash over it to create tone. The square around her eye is the only bit made with watercolor to really make it not only pop but to haunt you, bringing a direct focus to what could have been an overly-busy composition.
Sincerely: Thank you for the years of support you've shown to my work, to allow me to build my skill up to the point of making this for you. I'm so fortunate to have you in my life.