Peroxide Blonde

Peroxide Blonde by Sara Light-Waller

Back in the old days women dyed their hair white-blonde. It was the sexy thing of the moment during the late 1920’s and ’30’s. They used peroxide to do this style of bleaching and the color was called “peroxide blonde.” If you look at the way this type of white-blonde hair was treated in period art you can see that if the artist intended to highlight the whiteness of the hair, they’d show a lot of colorful highlights. (Kind of like a played-down version of the shiny lights you’d see…

A new painting and this week’s Rocketeer

Hollywood Glamour meme

I’ve been working on my oil pastels again, continuing my study of Hollywood glamour portraits from the 1920’s and 1930’s. These are the sorts of illustrations you’d see on the covers of the A-list fan magazines such as Photoplay. In this week’s ROCKETEER I’m showing off my newest pastel painting and talking about why Hollywood glamour portraits can make a useful study. Read it here.

March 2024 updates from Lucina Press

Thrilling Western pen and ink varient

I’ve been posting a lot about the Rocketeer lately and thought it’d be nice to do a more general update. To begin with, I’ve been writing some “future histories.” My illustrated short story, Anchor, is just the beginning of that tale. There are two other stories, both novellas (or “novels” in old pulp magazine-speak), which recount the continuing adventures of the Time Keepers. The first one will be the other side of Anchor–what happens to Lucy’s partner, Mytah, after he’s been kidnapped. I quite like that story, it’s a real…

In the Rocketeer: Soldiers and Sports Stars

Sports Stars meme

This week in the Rocketeer I’m looking at eight specialty wartime pulp covers. They were published in a range from 1943-1946 by Ned Pines, publisher of the “Thrilling Group” of pulp magazines. As a group, they can be taken as wartime propaganda but they are so beautifully rendered and visually interesting that it almost doesn’t matter. Join me for Soldiers and Sports Stars: Wartime Propaganda in the Rocketeer over on Substack.

Digging (into) oil pastels

While getting my feet wet with the ROCKETEER podcast I’ve also been working hard at my art. I’ve become interested in oil pastels recently, in an effort to jump out of a painting rut and also to improve the quality of some elements of my portraiture work. Oil painting has a lot to offer, but is unsuitable for my current small studio. And while you can get similar effects from Acrylic paints, there is something very satisfying about oils that I miss. I decided to try out oil pastels and…

Dalton Stevens copy

Dalton Stevens copy comparison

Sometimes I do suffer for my art! Recently, I determined to improve the delicacy of my handling of painted skin tones. Skin tones should (underline should) seem almost transparent and lovely, especially for women but also for men. Even if the skin presents as rougher and more weathered it should still seem like there’s blood flowing beneath it. I love portraiture but to-date my skin tones have been subpar, according to my own standards. I decided to try my hand at pastels in order to break some bad painting habits.…

#Inktober 2023 Wrap-up

Inktober wrap up meme

I am so late posting about this!! Why it’s already the 3rd, shame on me! In this week’s ROCKETEER I show off the complete collection of my #Inktober 2023 drawings. They take the shape of illustrations from a pulp detective story. In my post, I even suggest a story to go with them. I am enjoying the contemplation of 1930’s detective stories very much. The art style tends to be almost generic, but it still has a certain something. I’m adding my own spin to it, of course. I tend…