Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Anatomy of a pin-up Part 1

Every year the Indy webcomics group puts on the Comix Rock Art & Music Showcase. With it we do a mini comic that is available only at the show and features characters based around the girls from Creme de les Femme burlesque. This year I was in charge of writing and designing the characters. Since the headliner of this years show is the concept band, Five Year Mission (they make songs based on episodes of Star Trek) we had a theme of science fiction and Star Trek.
Creme de les Femme do a Dr. Sketchy show before the bands start and the girls who participate get a pinup of themselves in character in the back of the comic. I figured I'd do this post and show some of the process I went through to get it done. I found it particularly challenging because I wasn't all that comfortable drawing metal and then had to make it into a likeness also. I assure you there are plenty more drawings and things I could have posted but to show you everything would take forever. So I hope you enjoy.
P.S. I designed and screenprinted the poster for the show too. Some variants are up for auction at the show on July 9th too. I plan on doing some post about that process too.
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Anatomy of a pin-up Part 2

1st step was the costume designs. I sat down with one of the ladies from Creme de les Femme and we went over some designs. Since the girls make all their own costumes we had to make sure I didn't go off the deep end with costuming. The Julie-8 character was fairly simple. Metal body, lab coat, bob haircut, and volume knob pasties. Yup you read right: volume knob pasties.
Then the troupe decides which girls get which character and I then assigned each artist to the characters. Reference of the girl is sent to each artist along with the costume designs.
I immediately start with a realistic pencil sketch of the face and work different poses of the face from that as I try to simplify noticeable features that make that person recognizable. One thing I found troublesome was since we had character designs before we knew who was playing who we had to throw different hairstyles and colors on some of the girls. You'd be surprised how a big change in hairstyle can change how you see a person. Ask the guys who had to make brunettes blondes and vice versa.
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Anatomy of a pin-up Part 3.

Sketch fool, Sketch!
I check out a lot of metal reference photos. I really dug for photos from car shows to get a look at some chrome and how light and shadow would go to extremes on a molded bumper. I you d myself staring at my truck hood on a sunny day just studying how the sun and shadows of trees would mark the seams and lines in the paint. Some people think that's crazy, but its that kind of study of light and life I hope will make me a better painter. I didn't worry if everything turned out looking like her and tried quite a few poses to have a lot to look at and choose from. I think I would do pretty good with her likeness, but as soon as she got the bob haircut, it didn't look like her at all. I drew a few of her with her normal hairstyle and they looked just like her. Then I'd put the bob on top of that drawing and poof, she was gone. I wouldn't normally make this many sketches, but since I was having trouble with the likeness and was new to metal I took my time to try to get it right.
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Anatomy of a pin-up Part 4.

Here is the final pose I chose. Nice and sexy without being pornographic. Well it probably is to some, but they're prudes.
I pencil it all, including the metal shading since I'm a rookie. This way I can get the jist of it, but I still make decisions during the coloring. I outline with a FaberCastell pen then color with Prismacolor marker on Bristol.
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Anatomy of a pin-up. Part 5!

The final product waiting for titles. My friend Lee is putting graphics in the book and doing layouts, so it's off to him for the final design available with the mini comic only at Comix Rock, July 9th.
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Monday, March 28, 2011


Here are a couple more commissions I did at Horrorhound weekend in Indy. So much fun to do these. Its great when people can walk away smiling with something you have done for them. I met one of my favorite artist, Daniel Horne this weekend too. He could not have been nicer or more gracious with his time. I hope to keep in contact with him and get some helpful feedback on my paintings. I also made a friend with Sal Lizard. A comedian who dresses as a zombie claus. I never got to see him in the full outfit but we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. Special effect artist and horrorhost too. Other comicers as well. Hope all who made it out had a good time and those who didn't get to, I hope to see you guys soon.
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More HORRORHOUND weekend.

I tried to post from the convention but it seems they aren't getting through so here it goes again. Just finished vending at my first convention. The weekend was great and I met a lot of great people. Had one flub where the doors closed before I could get a last minute commission to the buyer. I took it out with me to see if I could find them in the halls and then forgot to bring it with me the next day. They were really understanding about it and I'll ship that out tonight. Hope everyone else had as much fun as I did and I have to say that Sunday night was the best night. Just the ones who wanted to celebrate a good weekend stayed behind and had a few laughs so the bar wasn't insanely crowded and people were just wanting to have fun. Here are some commissioned charicatures I did. I have more to show and unfortunately I didn't get photos of all of them. Chalk it up to inexperience.
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Friday, March 25, 2011


I'm nervous because this weekend I'll be selling my wares at Horrorhound weekend. First convention ever so the overhead is pretty high. Getting everything in place and stuff has taken way more time then I figured it would. Anywho here's some of the things I'll have. Hope to see you there.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ripley Sketch

I need more pin ups for Horrorhound and I think next up will be Ripley from Alien. I drew up this sketch and immediately saw influence from Rockin' Jelly Bean, who I love. This was way fast to draw and way fun. I especially liked the egg. I showed some friends and got some flack for her hair but I recalled a chick-fro in the second one and after blocking some images although not as large as the one I drew I'm sure I was right. Also some similarities to the pinup I just drew. Well, big ta-tas and a rifle. But how can you go wrong with that? This is just a Sharpie sketch and I'll do a more finished one in Prismacolors hopefully tonight. I posted this for comments on weather I should persue this style and only got two responses. One of them again commenting on her hair. I'll bug some more people and see what kind of response I get. Maybe include an alien in the background for the actual Horrorhound print since that always seems to be a big draw. If I don't end up doing this style I've got plenty more sketches to draw another Ripley. Either way something will end up in the sketchbook I'll have out at Horrorhound.
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Ghostbuster Girl.

I'm not kidding when I say I wish I could be a ghostbuster. I have a bit of an obsession. I can first remember being a ghostbuster for halloween in 2nd grade and I've been one four other times including last year. While getting ready for Horrorhound a ghostbuster pin up was a given. After pages and pages of sketching I chose this pose that shows off the glider but unfortunately not the pack. This isn't the finished project yet but I wanted to show this off. I had a few sketches with the pack but the overall look wasn't as fun. I even had a few that shhowed her as a workin' stiff. I may persue those more later, but for now I need to focus on finishing more stuff to sell as prints at Horrorhound.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Slave Girl finito...maybe.

Looks done to me for now. I've got plenty of time to change my mind. I'll keep this up for a few days and look at it to decide if it really is done. Hope its cool. Hope it sells.
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Star Trek continued.

Progress with the orion slave painting. I love her thigh and knee in this. Its unfortunate that despite me shrinking her torso her legs were still too long to fit her feet in the painting. At first I was just planning on having her looking away to nothing as if the viewer, who I hope has a since of desire when seeing the painting, isn't being recoliprocated. Something else has her attention despite her position as a slave. As the painting progressed I didn't like the angle of her "stance" and thought if I added the planet in the back it would help the visual flow of the piece. Again, fucking up and rather than giving up, I just continued to push the painting foreward and see what the result was. Not finished yet but I can see the end and overall I think I'll be satisfied. I'll continue filling in the clouds/mist and then darken the outside edges to bring focus in and leave the brighter background behind her so as not to draw your attention to the moon but keep it on her. Also here's a photo of the original sketch I did while I sat on the phone. That's why there are some notes to the side. No title yet.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Big paint.

So here are some work in progress shots of my 24" x 48" painting I'm doing for the Comics Rocks II art and music showcase. Its a Star Trek theme this year and this work is inspired by Yvonne Craig's depiction of an "Orion slave girl" Truthfully I don't know much about Star Trek but I did love the 60's Batman T.V. show and Yvonne Craig played Batgirl on that. I was looking up reference photos for a painting of Batgirl that never got done and came across photos of her as a green alien. When talking to another organizer about the show he talked about putting an Orion Slave Girl on the poster. I googled it to find out what the hell he was talking about and Ban, there was Yvonne Craig. Its not quite going in the direction I wanted but it ain't over yet. You can't quite see it but I've painted her left arm a couple times. Part of the fun is making mistakes and seeing where you can go from there. Here's to fucking up.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Blog Sucks.

Sadly I'm terrible at blogging. I have a tendancy only to want to put finished work on here. I work on art almost every day but because I feel like most of it is experimental, I don't feel like its finished. So today starts a new attitude and course for this blog. After checking out Eric Canete's blog I've been inspired to put everything on here. Warm-up sketches, thumbnails, everything I can stand to look at. Todays warm up: werewolf.
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