Star Wars epic Painting the saga’s cast.
Discover how Tsuyoshi Nagano composed a saga-spanning collection of key Star Wars characters
Colours in space I painted the stardust by mixing oil paint solvents, creating irregularities. I added red and pink and used black for the finishing touches, then introduced red, white and other coloured stars with an airbrush. Robot details The detailed parts of C-3PO and R2-D2, the portions that have lines or outlines, are purposely left over from the rough sketch that I made using a mechanical pencil. Sith lords Darth Vader blended in with the background, so I made the reflected light red. So his helmet didn’t stand out, I added yellow and blended it into Darth Sidious, which also shows a relationship between the two.
Depicting Mara I like Mara Jade a lot, so my drawings of her tend to be full body. Her costume was created using the comics as a reference. The lightsaber faces the lower right, for balance. Colour balance Grand Admiral Thrawn’s skin and Mara Jade’s lightsaber match, while Qui-Gon Jinn and Yoda’s lightsabers are the same green, to keep the painting engaging. Alien art It was difficult to make the Yuuzhan Vong look realistic because there were no photographic materials. So I referred back to horror and creature films as I drew him.
This painting was created for the Japanese edition of Star Wars: The New Essential Chronology. The drawing is divided into two parts for the covers of volumes one and two. When you line them up, you can see the whole painting, so it stands out in book stores.
Using character arrangement sketches from editor Junzo Takagi, I created the composition, colour scheme and poses. To create symmetry on the left and right, I instilled a sense of grandness and intensity. Most important was the direction in which the main characters are facing. From the middle to the end on the left and right, the characters are set to stagger and face the exterior of the painting to give a sense of distance. Anakin and Luke are facing in opposite directions, which helps provide balance.
The placement of Darth Vader was tricky, but I eventually put him facing down at an angle, beneath Darth Sidious, for contrast. This also gave a sense of distance from the six main characters.
Trooping in time This was Junzo Takagi’s idea. Here I show the flow of time from Jango Fett, through the clone troopers of Episodes II and II, with the stormtrooper of Episode IV, all mirrored by the presence of Boba Fett.
Tsuyoshi is well known among Star Wars fans for his many Japanese spin-off book covers. http://ifxm.ag/t-nagano