Inktober and Guy Gifford

I always enjoy #inktober. Pen & ink is one of my favorite illustration techniques and probably the one I use most often. I always find it fun to do a few extra drawings in October for #inktober. Here are the two drawings I’ve done so far in 2023. As you can see, my 1930’s theme remains. Each of these drawing uses a different approach. The girl has quite a bit of stippling but the hoodlum has none, using instead parallel ink marks with some cross-hatching. I’m getting used to my…

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.…

Inking Round-up May 2023

Inking Roundup for May 2023

Art is all about practice, and I practice all the time! My father used to marvel at the fact that I didn’t need any impetus to do art, I just do it. This month I’ve focused on improving my line and brushwork with ink. In this week’s ROCKETEER I show you what I’ve been up to, including a short video, detailing my practice pieces for the month of May. You can read this week’s newsletter here.

Linework and New Pens

Brush and ink after Cartier

Recently, I have become frustrated with the quality of my brush and ink linework. I was aware that  the type of lines I wanted to create should be created with a real brush and ink but I stuck to my brush pens. They are more convenient, certainly more tidy than dipping a brush into ink. Plus, I have good control over them. Decades ago in graduate school I used a dip pen and brushes with ink. Honestly, when good quality brush pens became available I was glad to make the…

Roy V. Hunt: A Retrospective, a review

Roy Hunt: A Retrospective book review

I don’t often review books, mainly because I’m either too soft a touch or, if the book is too bad, I don’t want to talk about it. But here is a case of something well worth a review, not just because the book it’s good, but because it’s historically important. Roy V. Hunt: A Retrospective is a treat, both for pulp fanatics and for artists. You can read my review here. 

The Saucers Are Here!

The Saucers Are Here!

Dear Diary, The funniest things happen sometimes! I recently found a small stack of my first coloring book, “My Day at the Horse Show.” I really thought the entire first run was out of print. As soon as I mentioned them on social media, I sold two! Since the Flying Sauce Party is coming up on the 17th I decided to put together a flying saucer coloring book for the event. This reminded me that I’ve had plans to do a series of pulp-based coloring books for some time (as…

Reproduction of the “Serpents of Siva” pulp cover

Serpents of Siva comparison

George Rozen cover painting for The Shadow magazine featuring “Serpents of Siva” in the April 1938 issue. This copy was something of an experiment. I was struck by the luminous green color of the buddha and wanted to try to recreate it with colored inks and densely-applied colored pencils. I set it up on Stonehenge paper. This is a heavy paper with good tooth and can take some wetting. I feel the results are a mixed bag. The luminosity comes through but the color isn’t dense enough. Probably, casein or…

Three George Rozen Shadow copies

The Rackets King 9bbb hard crop

Over the past year, I’ve dedicated a great deal of time to the improvement of my pulp art. George Rozen is one of the many pulp artists I’ve been studying. His “Shadow” covers from the 1930’s are truly wonderful–the art is punchy and the visual storytelling, top notch! To date, I’ve copied several Rozen “Shadow” covers. My most recent one is a copy of the June 15th 1938 issue featuring the novel, “The Rackets King.” This was my first attempt at copying one of the famous Shadow “hand” covers. It…