Thursday, April 30, 2009

Charlie Chaplin's corpse....

... was stolen by a small group of Swiss people on March 1, 1978. The dorks tried to blackmail Chaplin’s family. Naturally, this plan didn’t work. The perpetrators were caught, and Charlie’s body was found 11 weeks later near Lake Geneva. He was buried under concrete to prevent further incidents. This brush pen & ink illustration was created for the Berlin magazine ZITTY in 1999.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Black Bat - Bloodmoney

After 30 years of retirement the old Pulp Hero the "Black Bat" returns with a new novel, conceived by Superfan Nico Mathies. He hired me to do the first cover and I'm currently working on the second for a new novel. The Black Bat was around even before Bob Kane's Batman, first published in the legendary pulp "Black Book Detective" between 1939 -1951. He was revived later in England and Germany under the title "Die Schwarze Fledermaus".
Here is the original illustration:

And here is what the publisher did with it (a lackluster job if you ask me...):

Watch out for the next one coming soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"I bid you...welcome!"

From the early days of American Garagekits: Californian sculptor Pat Delaney's "Dracula". Stylized, but good likeness to Bela Lugosi. 

1:6 scale resin model kit, it is actually the Igor's Toys reissue from the late 90ties.

"The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield."

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Sing her a song or... even better, go recite a selfmade poem!"

This is Captain Red - he is the Comic Book Superhero from an alternate reality called Berlin-Neukölln. It's the place where the Indie movie "Videokings" takes place. Throughout the movie there are certain references to the character: He appears as a (broken) figurine, a TV shopping channel mascot and finally he allows (played by Til Schweiger) the protagonist having a love life by providing him stupid tips.....

I created the costume for Captain Red and kitbashed an Horizon Captain America model kit into a prop for filming (Oliver Korritke tries to put him back together). The lables for the products were also done by me together with the mock up of the vintage cover (based on "Superman#1") for his imaginary first issue. It was printed as a poster and also intended as a prop, but the scene ended up on the cutting room floor...

The illustration was done in pen, brush and ink and colored with Photoshop using the vintage "dot" filter to achieve the retro look....

"Sing her a song or... even better, go recite a selfmade poem!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On any given sunday: The Soccer Bull

First.... I hate soccer. This was a promotional illustration done for the NIKE Flagshipstore in Berlin. Something about a duel of Herta BSC and Barcelona "Idunno". 
Basic illo is brush, pen & ink, colored with Photoshop and some collage elements. Sometime around 1999, I can't remember for sure because ... I hate soccer.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

In space no one hear you...baa !!!

Back to our regular schedule: Illustration for sample portfolio of a German yarn manufacturer in the early 90's. A rush job because the scheduled illustrator failed to please the Art Director. The sheep was supposed to be floating in space, but the ill fated placement of the asteroid suggest the opposite without providing the proper shadow on the ground. Shit happens when haste is involved. 
Mainly brush, pen & ink, some Collage elements were used in the background . Finally it was colored with Copic markers and color pencils.

Addendum for Friday and some more fish as well...

Apologises. This blog is an exercise in discipline and I failed. Yeah, missed the post yesterday because of the sensational premiere of "Captain Berlin vs. Hitler" I attended at Kino Central in Berlin. Pictures following soon...

As addendum for last weeks fish: Found the colored version on a CD backup (done with Photoshop):

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grampa's Revenge!

Another bit of the past from innocent Fanzine days: Grumpy takes revenge on his least favorite relative. Even though moving 4 times since its creation the initial concept sketch miraculously survived all these years:

You can see there were some changes made in the final inked picture...

Bon Appetite Grampa! Pen, brush, ink and lots of whiteout, 1994.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Salem's Lot - Barlow the Vampire...

1:3 Scale bust of Barlow as shown in the TV Mini series from the late 70ties. Sculpted by Russ Lukich for Squid Kits.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

King Kong - Frankensteins Sohn (King Kong escapes!)

Illustration for the German DVD release a few years ago through Target Media. Kong looks like Homer Simpson in this flick. Acrylics on board, 2003.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pimp my Price!

This is an 16 years old pencil sketch of the Master of Menace from the bottom of my liar. A Wacom tablet (I'm still not used to it...) and some heavy Photoshopping gave him a nifty make over. Horray for Horrorwood! Pencil & Photoshop, 1992.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wild boar of Tuscany - another tale from the dump...

This simple drawing went through various stages until the customer was finally satisfied. A fast job going awry... First they wanted just a picture of a wild boar in line art. That was all info I was given, fetched a reference Pict and came up with this:

Then I was told it was a nice try, but she had a certain boar in mind. From a special wine etiquette from Tuscany. Unfortunately she lost her last specimen. A Google search yielded only a stamp sized Giff, so this was used as reference for the next try:

Close, but no cigar. The Lady wasn't satisfied. At all. But the failure motivated her searching and finally she rediscovered the label, so I was able to match her cherished memories of wild boars in Tuscany:

I still like the first best, but anyway, I like wild boars more as Salami! Yummy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday is fish day ....more stuff from the dump

It's Friday, have some fish! Every Cafeteria or Canteen has some on the menu on Fridays and I'm f**§%§"?#* hate it. This is a prehistoric fish called the "Cylakant" (with a bit of Pirania thrown in) inspired by the campy movie "Monster on Campus" a lesser effort from noted Sci-Fi  director Jack Arnold.

It was done for an animated sequence for the (unfortunately box office failure) "Ein göttlicher Job". Pen, ink & brush, 2001.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

To a new world of gods and monsters!

A company called Resin Realities released a few years ago these four busts of the main characters of the legendary "Bride of Frankenstein" movie, directed by James Whale in 1935. Sculpted by Mark VanTyne in 1:4 scale.

Dr. Henry Frankenstein (played by Colin Clive):

Dr. Frankenstein: "I've been cursed for delving into the mysteries of life!"

The whole set of all four busts:

The mad and mysterious Dr. Pretorius ( played by Ernest Thesiger):

Dr. Pretorius: "Sometimes I have wondered whether life wouldn't be much more amusing if we were all devils, no nonsense about angels and being good."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Images saved from the dump....part #1

When you're working as a layout artist or story boarder you might had the same experience over the years: Doing illustrations/sequences which go directly to the trash after the presentation/pitch is done.  Sometimes these are pictures you really put some effort or heart & soul into, always well paid but in the end they are bound to be abandoned. Today you find here (and in future posts) some examples of these forgotten efforts snatched away from oblivion....

Some Layouts for a billboard campaign for a Newspaper, the punchline was: "Go tell something new!"

This was my first attempt:

This was the heavy art directed  final version:

I prefer the first version because its much clearer compared to the second, but it seems sometimes the AD's don't have too much imagination (or no balls...).....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beware....BEWARE !!!

"Beware! Beware of the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep. He eats little boys... Puppy dog tails, and BIG FAT SNAILS... Beware... Take care... Beware!" (quote from "Glen or Glenda" by Ed Wood).  Bela Lugosi wants you. T-Shirt illustration done in pen & ink, 1995.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Godzilla vs. Berlin ....

Guess who wins? Sorry, no remarks today: Migraine! Acrylics on cardboard, 2002.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Harryhausen Style Giant Monster...

Sketch from the archives: Done for a Advertising agency ten years ago. They wanted several Monsters for a commercial channeling classic giant monsters movies. This one was the "Stop-Motion" kind of creatures Ray Harryhausen was famous for. Pen & ink, 1999.

Friday, April 10, 2009

When I was 2 and 1/2 years old....

First documented work done at the age of two and a half years. Chacoral on concrete floor, 1969.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mad Love: "Each man kills the thing he loves..."

"I have conquered science! Why can't I conquer love?" 
Doctor Gogol 

"Mad Love" was Peter Lorre's first picture in Hollywood. A strange and brilliant tale of desperation, unfulfilled love, reckless science and ... stalking. Lorre plays Doctor Gogol, a brilliant surgeon with an obsessive knack for the beautiful, but married Madame Orlac. The movie was based on the book "Les Mains d'Orlac" by Maurice Renard, it was also filmed a few years earlier as a silent in Germany with Conrad Veidt in the lead.

This piece of obscure was sculpted by Mike Falcigno of and released through Forbidden Zone as a resin kit. Go get it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Like a rolling stone...", part two.

"Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a mans soul and faith"

Another find from good ol' days: Mick Jagger, done for an Discotheque advertisement in a local paper. Not so elaborate like Keith, but I still like it. Brush and ink, 1991.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Birth of a painting: Bela Lugosi portrait

When I sold my only Lugosi picture two years ago there was a void on the wall to fill. A moody, dramatic shot of Bela from an (at last to me) unknown film was found and so I was inspired to paint a new portrait...

I'm using mainly Vallejo Model Color - a Spanish acrylic paint brand I usually need for the model kits. But they are great for 2-d painting as well and I love the great selection of odd color/tones. After priming the acrylic/oil paper in yellow ocker, I traced the under drawing and started blocking the shadows....the first skin tones....

The hardest part is to imagine the areas that are tinted in black on the reference Pict. Flat black shadows don't work to make him look "dimensional"... so I choosed a dramatic blueish back light, while leaving the collar, neck and background out of focus.....

The next steps: More work was done on Bela, making him look more dimensional, highlights added and blending the colors. Unsatisfied with the background and missing smooth transitions due to the use of acrylics, I put out my water based oil colors (I hate the smell of turpentine).

And to my surprise, they worked like charm! But on the downside - especially titanium white takes an eternity to I had to pause for a couple of days in order not to ruin the past achievements.After the oil paint had dried I am happy to present the finished painting of Bela Lugosi. I fixed some problems with the hair and the right side of his face, including the transition to the background. The white oil paint was great for beefing up the lightning. 

I'm glad he turned out not too "Dracula" and shows more of the man behind the cape....

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Like a rolling stone...", part one.

Keith Richards of the "Rolling Stones", now 65. Long story short - this drawing was a gift for a fellow art student back in 1991. Done in pen and ink, it was used for a (crude) T-shirt design. The original drawing was lost in the process, only a good xerox survived. Rock 'n' Roll!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The EC- Comics Gang of usual suspects...

The Cryptkeeper, the Vaultkeeper and the old Witch were the hosts of the legendary  EC Comics line of Horror comic books. 
This group portrait (including publisher William Gaines about to be boiled), was done for the cover of issue #34 of the now long defunct German HIT-Comics magazine. Sadly, it was the last regular issue and on top of it they mirrored the illustration for printing, so the Witch had her evil eye on the wrong side....*sigh*

Pencil and ink, colored with Photoshop, 2002. You can purchase the original ink drawing here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

NOSFERATU: The first GK version by Dave Grasso...

A real lucky find on a a Chiller Convention a few years ago: The first take on the classic vampire by SFX-Sculptor Dave Grasso. Based on an famous still you can find in nearly every book on Horror films. It's 1:6 scale and cast in resin.

I like the sculpt for being more expressive than accurate, Grasso's later version (soon here on this blog) is still the superior one.

Painted with Acrylics and an base was added from the leftovers box....