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07 December 2010

Yarrr! Up Up and Away, Matey!

A while back, I got a great deal on a copy of Drew Struzan: Oeuvre, and fell into an attention hole over his work.  I've always enjoyed his movies posters, but never really studied his work until I got this book.  Like a very few other artists I can think of -- Boris, Frazetta, Alex Ross -- I occasionally find myself lost in some small part of a Struzan painting, studying the mechanics of the piece more than the gestalt of the thing.  His composition, lighting, and use of color border on the mystical for me at this point.  There's also his storytelling, his ability to capture the essence of a film in a single image, so much so that in some cases, his posters are better than the movies themselves...it's just astounding work all around.
Shortly after finding the book, I got the opportunity to do a pinup for a book called "Sky Pirates of Valendor", and since it is a team book, I thought it would be instructive to me to try and design it Struzan-style.  I can't say it was entirely successful, but still, I think it didn't turn out too bad.  The image below is the greyscale piece I turned in for the book, since it was b&w.  However, I do have a color version of this somewhere, and I'll post it if I can ever remember where I filed it. 
They've changed publishing tactics since soliciting the piece, and have now become a webcomic, so this piece, as far as I know, never got used, which is a shame, since I would have liked to have seen how other artists interpreted the characters.  It's a pretty good comic, and I recommend you read it if you get a chance.

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