This Jack Nicholson watercolor is from the 1973 movie “The Last Detail”.  I first saw this move in 1985, well after I joined the navy. (If I had seen it before, I might have never joined.) But I have to say that after seeing it, I was thoroughly impressed with how accurately the old-school lifer enlisted men were portrayed. The story involves 2 sailors who are assigned the task of transporting a young enlisted man (Randy Quaid) to a regional military prison.  It was directed by Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, Coming Home, Being There).

Take a look at this frank look at military men, far from the battlefield, but displaying true (though flawed) character, none the less. I highly recommend the film, though it isn’t a feel-good romp. This is a serious drama.

Nicholson’s costar, Otis Young, was a lesser-known, but skilled actor who worked extensively in television and film for almost 30 years. The Last Detail was also an early film for Michael Moriarty and  Carol Kane.

My process in creating this Jack Nicholson watercolor  involved using a digital image to analyze the photograph. After deciding what parts of the image I want to accent. I prefer to let the form of the subject be defined by simple light and shadow. After the light areas are masked, I can choose and manipulate colors use dint he shadows more freely, as the form is already defined. After the paint has dried, I can add mid-level shading to better refine the shape. A this point I can also adjust the colors of the shadows, if need be. I painted this piece on Stratmore paper, using Cottman’s paint, here in my garage/studio in Asheville, NC.

This Jack Nicholson watercolor is from a photo for "The Last Detail"

This is 1n 8×10 watercolor of Jack Nicholson from the movie “The Last Detail”