Film poster fun Hugh Fleming paints Rey and BB-8.
Inspired by the work of classic film poster artists, Hugh Fleming paints two new desert dwelling characters from The Force Awakens
For this workshop I’ll be taking you through the process of illustrating Rey and BB-8 from Star Wars Episode VII. As a great movie buff and long-time fan of the great poster artists Drew Struzan and the late Richard Amsel, this is an ideal assignment for me. Like those two illustrators I’m a portrait artist at heart, and movie characters are the thing I love to paint the most. And, of course, I’m mad keen on Star Wars!
I know very little about how Rey and BB-8 are related within the narrative of The Force Awakens, but judging from the promotional materials released so far I’m confident their pairing in a montage will be appropriate. I like the flexibility that montage affords. Elements can be juxtaposed in a figurative manner to convey a relationship between characters or get a sense of a world. You can have fun with a design without having to reconcile disparate lighting conditions of reference shots, or manage tricky perspective.
One challenge here is to fashion a relatively singular composition from limited reference materials, while also trying to preempt choices likely to be made by other eager fan artists keen to express their enthusiasm for the new movie. My painting needs to stand out from the crowd.
I also find it’s useful to combine reference into new combinations to keep things fresh. Rey’s head, for example, will be swapped out with another of superior resolution to create a unique pose.
I’m essentially self-taught and have had only minimal formal training as an illustrator. Consequently, I’ve lent on my intuition far more than I probably should have, and my technique has now settled into a perpetual argument between pencil and acrylics – each medium contradicting and correcting the mistakes of the other until a balance is achieved.
Hugh is an Australian artist whose Star Wars credits include covers for Dark Horse Comics and illustrations for the Star Wars Insider magazine, where his popular Star Wars Rock Band art first appeared. Follow him on Twitter: @shuggyMF.