I always had it in the back of my head to do some Pin Up style artwork .. in the style of Vargas or Petty for one of my projects .. but really doing mostly Kaiju never had the chance (!) I suppose I could have done a Kaiju Pin Up ! Ha -ha .. well maybe not .. so when we developed the Lady Maxx character I knew this was something I could finally let my inner Pin Up artist loose on ! Below are the step-by-step pics of my process. These were actually tweeted in real time over several nights and days. By the way you can follow my antics on Twitter under : maxtoyco
I used a hot press watercolor board this time .. a bit different as I usually use a plain hot press board. What this meant was this time the board has some tooth (texture) to it … also being a watercolor board would allow for the paint to soak in a bit … something that as you will learn below came back to bite me in the behind !! This image and others to follow will be part of a ongoing series of Pin Up style giclees, posters, tee shirts (for Japan) !
By the way I can not say this enough, Lady Maxx was designed and the toy was sculpted by Makino-san of TTToys .. he captured Lady Maxx perfectly !!!
Materials : Iwata airbrush HP-C
Paints : Acrylics
Crescent Hot Press Watercolor board, extra heavy weight
At this stage the figure is fully laid out. I decided I wanted to keep the colors and flesh tones vibrant so I did not do my usual of painting in the darks with paynes grey .. but rather used the pencil sketch as my general guide to the final tones.
Using a plastic film called Frisket film, i laid a sheet down over the drawing.. this sheet has a sticky side that allows me to cut out shapes from it and remove / replace those shapes as i spray the acrylics.
Using an X-acto blade #11, I carefully cut thru the film but not so hard to damage the board .. I like to think it is very much like surgery !
I pull up each section to expose the board under it..this allows me to spray those areas. Once dry I can replace the shape, and remove another section to spray.. but care must be taken to align the pieces back carefully …
Using a light flesh color i begin spraying from light to dark flesh tones .. see below .. gradually darkening the colors …
As you can see it’s a tedious process for each section … checking already sprayed areas that have been covered up, to make sure my values are working. If you look at the image above you’ll notice a very tiny red mark on her thigh (!) Due to my careless and late night blunder, that tiny section was not covered while i was spraying red paint … thus it left a mark ;-( Long story short i had to re-spray that area back down to white and starting with a light flesh, do the whole process again. That process took 4 hours total to fix the one mark. Well lucky for me I’ve been doing this for awhile so i knew what to do to save it.. wasn’t fun, but I could fix it. Your probably saying why didn’t you leave it and fix it in photoshop, which i could have done .. well I still believe in original art, so for me it was important to have this painting be painted perfectly.
After all the masks have been removed, using a 000 brush i go back in and touch up areas, paint in the hair and such.
Since i wanted to keep this on a white background I didn’t have to worry about one !
If you notice i also omitted her right glove , opting for more arm to be exposed !
I know this type of art is not for everyone and i respect those view points. My approach to Lady Maxx character is that she is a powerful, intelligent gal, but also has a playful side to her. Hopefully I can convey this through my artwork.
Later in photoshop I dropped in the red circle and text .. phew ! After a near disaster I was able to recover and finish ! I think it came out nicely .. I know I can do better and over this year as i do more hope to improve !
Look for a new Lady Maxx figure in the coming weeks via the Max Toy Company web site !