Here’s a great behind-the-scenes look at Richard’s progress on his latest commission…a theme he’s touched on before with a terrific “dine ‘n’ draw” sketch awhile back (select “Dine ‘n’ Draw” in Richard’s archive to see it!)
The client asked for something pretty straightforward, and pretty much up my alley: a classic/1950s-esque sci-fi heroine, riding a rocketship. It’s certainly a theme I’ve explored in the past. The result is that I went through about 3 revisions on the pose, changing her expression, pose, positioning repeatedly, until I landed on this one, with exaggerated hand positioning and faux startled expression that lands it right in that 40s pinup era I cherish.
Richard’s original prelim
Her outfit is of my own design, but the theme being what it is, it had to be shiny, simple, and a bodysuit. The padding and penstriping gives it and her a bit more shape and form. The green clasp adds some contrast to all of the reds. The styling of the suit (the clasp, silver coloring, and the pinstripes) tie the outfit into the ship.
more refined pencils
Final pencils before laying down some ink.
Final inks. (The finest inked piece I’ve seen Richard do to date. This is gorgeous! -Craig)
…And that ship. Whew. I think the first impulse for this is to go with a straight silver rocketship that’s standard for (generic) science fiction from the period. Well, hooey on that. I researched period cars and pulled together elements from various large-engined autos. I then layered them onto the outline of a generic 1950s rocketship. And you just KNOW she would have a candy apple red rocketship. Seriously. Let’s talk chrome. Chrome is a fun challenge, but also a pain in the BUTT to do. It reflects EVERYTHING. The shapes and colors around it as well as its own contours. That includes light AND color. I think I spent about 8 hours getting this ship to the point I approved of it. I also added my name to it in a boss 1950s car font. Woot.
I definitely wanted the Squidgy Alien to be more fun/cute than menacing. If you look at the piece sideways, you can kinda tell a bit more just how goofy he is. He almost has 3 eye stalks and 2 “arms” (although they end in eyes as well).
The final piece!
And the background fades out at the edges as opposed to my usual fade in from character. I just thought it would be an interesting effect that reflects a lot of illustration from the period that tends to fade out towards the edges.