Paint a clas­sic film poster

An­dreas Ben­nwik uses dig­i­tal and trad tech­niques.

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

For this work­shop I’ll paint a retro film poster-style il­lus­tra­tion. Posters used to be painted or air­brushed on can­vas or il­lus­tra­tion board, and I’ll use a tech­nique in­spired by the great Drew Struzan. It’s based on air­brush paint­ing with acrylic colours to build up the colour and shad­ings, and then colour pen­cils for ren­der­ing out the lighter parts and adding de­tails. For this I usu­ally use the same medi­ums, but here I’ll be do­ing a mix of tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal. Of­ten an il­lus­tra­tion needs to be changed dur­ing or af­ter the process – work­ing dig­i­tally makes this sig­nif­i­cantly eas­ier.

Start­ing off with a tra­di­tional draw­ing on pa­per, I’ll do the colour­ing and fi­nal ren­der­ing in Photoshop as well as adding dif­fer­ent tex­tures and so on. But first we need to get the idea and com­po­si­tion done. Each step is equally im­por­tant to get the end re­sult we want. Since it’s a clas­sic 1980s fan­tasy film theme, I’ll make a com­po­si­tion of some of the fa­mous char­ac­ters from the era, keep­ing in mind where the text and ti­tles are to be placed on the cover.

Re­search­ing ref­er­ence pic­tures with the ImagineFX team is cru­cial as they need to be in­stantly recog­nis­able. I usu­ally come up with an idea, make a rough sketch, move on to the draw­ing, scan it and do the colour­ing in Photoshop. The colour scheme is a clas­sic blue and or­ange-yel­low theme that’s of­ten used in film posters.

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