When I was approached to write a blog for StarWars.com, I was a bit scared. Terrified actually.
I am not a writer at all. To be honest, I am grammatically challenged.
Working for Lucasfilm was a dream come true. I have been a Star Wars fan since my parents took me to see A New Hope in 1978 at the Van Buren drive-in. Little me would be peeing his pants if he knew then that he would work for Star Wars. I have done four art pieces for Lucasfilm. All of them were extremely fun and exciting to make.
I was approached to write this at one of the busiest times I’ve ever had, and I wanted to put it off…BUT…I was working on a new piece for Lucasfilm and Acme Archives, so I thought this would be a perfect chance for me to write a little bit about my process.
When I approach a new idea for an illustration piece such as “Magnitude,” the first question I ask myself is: “What would I want to hang in my own house?” With “Magnitude,” I wanted to make Star Wars for a grown man. A classic-looking piece for your den, study, or something that would go well with hunting trophies, diamond-back burgundy leather chair, and mahogany desks.
I got the idea for “Ride the Lightning” while watching Return of the Jedi. When I saw Vader hit with the Emperor’s Force lightning, it just clicked. I grabbed my pad and started sketching.
Everything I do starts with pencil on paper, a few preliminary sketches, working out compositions, then a rendered drawing. I will then scan the drawing and tile it out into a few 8.5 x 11” prints. With Saral Blue transfer paper, I transfer the drawing onto a wood panel or canvas. After I have transferred the image, I will begin a raw umber under-painting.
For illustration I mostly use Nova Color acrylic paint. After I have a good under-painting in sepia tones, I’ll start blocking in the darks, then the mid tones, and finally start building up layers. I usually leave the fine details, washes, and glazes until the very end. I think the final touches are the best parts. That’s where all the magic happens!
“Ride the Lightning” is coming out in the end of January. I am very excited about this print because this is my favorite so far!