Putting a new spin on classic film poster imagery
Comic book illustrator and concept artist Karl Fitzgerald reveals why he has made the leap into the niche industry of screen printed film posters
“I’m still amazed at exactly how much detail can be achieved through the screen printing technique” says Karl Fitzgerald, a relative newcomer to the medium. Now working with galleries and studios who have a love for the bygone age of painted-style film posters, Karl’s screen print poster commissions have seen him reinterpreting iconic characters and settings with his unique art style.
Karl was originally inspired by Chris Weston’s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly screen print poster. “It was the first screen printed movie poster I saw in the flesh and it’s what made me want to get into this industry,” he says.
To his delight, Karl’s now found himself working through a long list of licensed titles. It’s enjoyable, of course, but also involves proper research work. “I start by rewatching the film, taking notes and then doing small sketches and studies,” he says. “I look for key scenes, and really try and immerse myself in the atmosphere and environment, because that’s what my paintings focus on.”
But with a limited palette of just six or seven colours, Karl has to plan his work carefully to ensure that he captures the likeness of recognisable actors and characters. “As these are such iconic films, attention to detail is very important,” he says. “Fans will pick up on any inaccuracies in terms of costume or props.”
Beginning with pencil sketches to nail down the concept, Karl graduates to Photoshop to complete the painting before the screen printing begins. The colour restraints don’t appear to inhibit his posters though, as the results are beautiful, deeply textured new takes on familiar stories. “With these particular posters, I was trying to show the relationship between the character and their environment,” says Karl.
It isn’t all hard work for the young artist though, as he’s also been basking in the warm reception his posters have received. As for the future, he’s excited to see where screen printing will take him. “Plus,” he says, “It’s a great excuse to watch my favourite films again as ‘research’!”
For more of Karl’s art, visit his Facebook page at http://ifxm.ag/karfit.
As these are such iconic films, attention to detail is very important
This piece is deliberately over-the-top as Karl crammed in every car that he could. For this commission Karl wanted to exaggerate the looming menace of the Nazgûl on Weathertop.
This atmospheric painting of Karl’s favourite film of all time features multiple elements from the movie, all drenched in rain and smoke.