Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Interview

Shout Factory's recent release of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 Volume XV features a rather special interview with me and my co-star Thor on our feelings about our cult classic ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE, which is one of the episodes included in this set.

ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE has been regarded as one of the very best episodes of this terrific series, and I was more than happy to share my recollections of the experience, and my insight as to why our bad movie works so well in the MST3K format. All the reviews of this new collection have been glowing, so join the Satellite Of Love and pick up your copy before Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank find a way to sabotage its wonder...

"Who put the 12-year-old in charge of the investigation?"

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Unmasking Dr. Phibes Part 2

Okay, so now it's time to let the lights shine. I squint at the reference photos to determine where the light areas really stand out. Squinting makes it easier to recognize the tones as either light, middle or dark. Using an electric eraser, I begin by blocking out the areas that are going to be lighter. You'll notice that these are mostly small areas. In the following step, these will be softened to create a real sense of depth.

Now a kneaded eraser is used to gently soften the edges of the highlights, and lighten up larger areas. This often requires a good amount of push-and-pull, but the end result creates the illusion of depth that is vital to a pencil or charcoal sketch such as this...

Finally, some last minutes rendering of the darkest darks...and a fair amount of erasing to clean up the areas surrounding the character(s), and the sketch is complete. Oh, except for the signature, of course...

...and the notorious Dr. Phibes rises again, to be matted and framed in the den of a very happy client! Thanks again to Sketchy Things fan John Lee for his wonderful taste in subject matter!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Unmasking Dr. Phibes Part 1

A terrific fan from Kentucky just recently gave me the opportunity to create a truly unique sketch of Vincent Price from one of my favorite films, THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES. John Lee of Bardstown commissioned a drawing based on his own concept...the hideously scarred Anton Phibes holding up the mask of his own visage. I immediately loved the idea, and began the process of bringing John's concept to visual life. It began, as always, with a rough sketch, to determine the composition of the piece...

Once I was certain that the proportions were correct, I began filling in a middle tone over the entire drawing. This was accomplished with a Mars Lumograph 100 B pencil, the only pencil I would use throughout the entire sketch. The tone is gently feathered in, and then rubbed down with my fingers to acheive a nice soft and even middle tone.

Once that is done, I begin to render in the darker tones, and commit to the holding lines that will define the contours of the character. It is important to keep the entire drawing at the same level of completion. Not to finish one area and then return to the rest. This is a sure fire way to insure that each and every part of your sketch relates to the entire image.

Up next...the application of the lighter tones...