Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Photo Reference: Part 2

For this illustration there wasn't a specific actor,but there was an established look for the character. That look was Peter Caras' and later George Gross' interpretation of Steve Holland, the ubiquitous "action man" template/model for many of the 1960's and 70's pulp cover illustrators. So of course I went to my go to "action hero" and fellow Watts Atelier instructor Jim Hahn. Jim has the square jaw and steely gaze that is requisite for a pulp hero. So I dressed Jim up in a ridiculous costume and had him pose in a variety of heroic poses that fit the
rough thumbnail I had decided on.

Once I had the reference I liked, I then proceeded to the sketch phase where I turned Jim into Richard "The Avenger" Benson. This actually wasn't that hard because he already bears a passing resemblance to Steve Holland.

First I wanted to give him more heroic proportions so I broadened and rotated the shoulders more towards the camera, I shrunk the head, narrowed the waist, and enlarged the hands. Next I went to work on the head, here I squared off his jaw a little more, added the chin dimple, and gave the eye a bit more of a blank stare (as befits the character), I also thinned his lips some and sharpened his cheek bones.

One last think I modified was the left hand. I rotated it some and spread the fingers to get a stronger silhouette.


RichD said...

Love these explanations of the process. Keep them coming, especially if they mention Holland, Caras or Gross :).

E.M. Gist said...

Hey Rich- I thought you might like this one.

Unknown said...

Super insightful stuff. Thanks for posting it!

By the way, have you spoke ever to Doug Higgins about Frank Reily? He is an excellent landscape artist who studied under Reily. I have his email if you have Reily questions for him.

Merry Christmas.

Lucas Pandolfelli said...

Hi Gist,

Thanks for posting this kind the stuff, showing your process. It´s nice to see how you do some changes on the ref to get a more interesting look on the final drawing.