Cole Phillips’ “Fadeaway Girl”: Now you see her, now you don’t


The image you see above is one on Cole Phillips’ “Fadeaway Girls”. This fascinating art technique was first used in the early decades of the 20th century and is still used as a gimmick more than 100 years later. In this week’s Rocketeer I’m highlighting Phillips’ famous technique with some snazzy examples. Join me on Substack to take a look.

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.

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.…

Earle K. Bergey Cover Reproduction

Exciting Sports Comparison

You all know that I like to make pulp copies as part of my on-going learning process. My goal as a pulp painter is to become familiar with the original pulp covers and understand them well-enough in terms of color, composition, themes, etc.. to be able to create my own book covers and fine art paintings which accurately reproduce the look and feel of that era. I believe in creating the whole “package” for my books. I want to create an experience for readers which is immersive. And so far…

Big Day!

FPS opening day banner 2

Today is a big day for me. I have spent the last few months creating a series of new pulp paintings and also rebuilding my studio website—Flying Pony Studios. I’ve added a Woo Commerce shop to that site and this will impact Lucina Press in several ways. The biggest impact is that in the not-too-distant future my eBooks will be for sale over at the Flying Pony Studios shop, along with prints of my book artwork. In other exciting news, my new illustrated novelette—INCORRUPTIBLE—will soon be available in print and…

Tips for painting in casein

Thrilling detective copy

Casein paint is not as well known today as is acrylics or watercolor. It’s an ancient type of paint, derived from milk protein. It’s fast-drying, and water-soluble. Once dry, the paint becomes water resistant to a large degree. This allows for building in layers as you would with acrylics or oils. The finish is matte and a bit chalky, unlike the shiny surface of acrylics. Casein has been used for both portraits and murals since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One advantage to this type of paint is…