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

ImagineFX - - Issue 129 Christmas 2015 -

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.

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