Unicorn and Xenomorph

It had all started innocently. I had been working on painting scale models for a long time, and I started to crave a larger project in the summer of 2016. After a bit of searching, I came across some life size busts from Black Heart Models, specifically their 1:1 Xenomorph bust.

I thought it would be a good challenge to try something life size, and I’ve always liked the look of H. R. Geiger’s alien in the “Alien” franchise. Something that is human in some ways, otherworldly in others.

I ordered the kit, and started to paint it. I had finished the piece and was waiting to do a final gloss over the surface.

The fateful day was the next day at my day job in the winter of 2017.

I was talking with a coworker, and I showed her the photo of the almost finished Xenomorph, and I mentioned I was looking for a new project. She took one look at it, turned back to what she was working on, and said, “Oh wow! You should paint a Unicorn… with rainbow hair.”

I replied with “Ok.” My life hasn’t been the same since.

I went back to my office, and went looking for a Unicorn bust, and purchased one from White Faux Taxidermy.

After it arrived, I worked on it, and kept saying to myself, “I can’t believe I’m painting a unicorn.”

I wanted to impart into the unicorn a sense of magical realism. It needed to find a middle ground between between many different things. It needed to have some lifelike qualities, but a sense of magic. It needed to pay homage to classic Unicorn lore, yet with a nod to contemporary Unicorn culture.

When it was complete, the Unicorn and the Xenomorph were finished together. It wasn’t until the summer of 2019 that she was named “Sparkle” by her caretaker. Until then, she was known to me as my first Unicorn.