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.…

Two Rocketeers posts-oops, missed one!

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day! I’m so excited, my sister is visiting for the first time since Covid. To that end this week’s POCKETEER is short, merely a preview of next week’s post when I’ll take a look at C. L. Moore’s last novel, “Doomsday Morning.” It’s a super timely book, all things considered. You can read my Thanksgiving post here. Going back one week, I neglected to post about last week’s ROCKETEER. In “Truth May be Hidden in Strange Places: The Metal Spy From Space” I look at a rare comic…

#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…

Artists of The Spider!

Artists of The Spider

Pulpfest has asked me to make a few videos highlighting various pulp artists. My first one, “Artists of The Spider” is now up on YouTube. In this case, we’re talking about four pulp artists: John Newton Howitt (1885-1958), Rafael DeSoto (1904-1992),  Walter Baumhofer (1904-1987) and John Fleming Gould (1906-1996). You can watch the video here. Here are some of The Spider covers highlighted in the video:

Recreating Pulp Art (in color): A Journey

Recreating Pulp Art meme

In last week’s ROCKETEER, I premiered a new pulp copy–“The Shadow” magazine cover featuring “Hidden Death” (September, 1932 issue.) I also talk about my journey as a pulp artist and historian, trying to better understand how the original art was created so that I can create new pieces that have the colorful and melodramatic pulp-art feel. In the article I show you some of my original fine art pulp pieces. You can see the new copy and read all about it here.

Dan Smith copy

Dan Smith comparison

For this week’s art practice I chose to make a copy of a newspaper illustration by Dan Smith from the early years of the 20th Century. Smith’s pen and ink work is superb and I wanted to test my skills. I chose a cropped image of his “Antony and Cleopatra” illustration as my subject. There’s no question that this was a difficult copy. His marks are so delicate and complex that I had to make the copy section by section in order to not create too much confusion for myself.…