Take a clas­sic ap­proach to pin-up

Fiona Stephen­son shows you how to cre­ate vin­tage-look­ing pin-up art us­ing tra­di­tional oil-on-can­vas paint­ing tech­niques

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Fantasy Illustrator -

Work­ing in oil can be tricky. How­ever, the flex­i­bil­ity you have work­ing into wet paint and the re­sult­ing vi­brant colours out­weigh any prob­lems.

I taught my­self to oil paint by copy­ing tra­di­tional pin-up artists from the 1950s, so my meth­ods may not be cor­rect but the end re­sult will look rea­son­ably au­then­tic. The man­nequin is use­ful for get­ting the cloth­ing to look right, es­tab­lish­ing where the creases are, where the light falls and so on. Your paint­ing will be more con­vinc­ing if you give th­ese de­tails some time.

Pin-up is light-hearted, not cyn­i­cal, so bear this in mind when de­cid­ing on a pose. A clas­sic pin-up pose typ­i­cally has del­i­cately ar­ranged hands and de­murely po­si­tioned legs – it shouldn’t look sleazy.

I’m al­ways ea­ger to get paint­ing, so I of­ten rush the prepa­ra­tion. This has its pit­falls: here, as you’ll see in the work­shop when a last-minute de­ci­sion to in­clude a ball of wool puts me un­der pres­sure, es­pe­cially af­ter the red takes days to dry. The more de­ci­sions you make early in the sketch­ing process, the less you’ll need to al­ter later and the more time you’ll save.

My stu­dio max­imises the light. It’s cru­cial when paint­ing skin tones for pin­ups to have nat­u­ral light rather than a day­light bulb. It’s dis­ap­point­ing when you spend hours paint­ing what you think is a creamy skin tone, only to dis­cover the next day your colours look cold. The fi­nal thing I do is take my paint­ing to a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher who spe­cialises in 2D art­work, which gives me a high­res­o­lu­tion im­age to pass on to my clients.

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