Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Bruce Lee Issue


Rick Baker graciously invited me to create a cover design for his EASTERN HEROES magazine in the UK. It has long profiled Hong Kong action cinema classics and, of course, focuses often on the work of the iconic Bruce Lee.
He's the cover star of this issue. I was asked to concentrate on his ENTER THE DRAGON period, arguably his most famous film worldwide. Then, after seeing my art, I was requested to add additional "Bruces" from each of his other HK films, perhaps to broaden the focus and widen the general appeal. These were each rendered in unique color tone. 

Bruce's Chinese stage name translates to "Little Dragon", so it seemed appropriate to add a little colorful phantom Asian serpent flowing around the man.

I had never drawn Lee before so it was a fun exercise for me.

The magazine (and many other cool items) might still be available in the Eastern Heroes online shop. Hurry before they sell out. That particular issue also includes an interview with yours truly and features samples of some of my Blu-ray cover art.

When I draw hands I invariably use my own as reference when I'm drawing. They are just too... "handy" not to. I always have them at "hand". (Ugh, sorry.) But I do make an attempt to alter them anatomically to suit the person I'm drawing. Make the fingers shorter or the palm fatter, whatever. Yet even after all that, when I look at the finished art, I still immediately recognize them as my hands.

(I once placed my hands inside Jackie Chan's hand prints. His fingers are much shorter than mine, but they are spread so far apart it was painfully difficult to make mine even fit inside the print. It's not something you realize when watching a film, but the differences becomes very evident when given the opportunity to do what I did.)        

Well, that's it for ole 2022. I hope to continue this blog in 2023 as I have a ton more stuff to share. I like to spread it out and wait for the products to hit shelves before posting the artwork here. But more goodness is forthcoming.

Since Michelle Yeoh had such a good year in 2022, I'll kick off 2023 with some artwork I've done for her classic films. Stay tuned to this channel (blog? website? whatever.)... 

Happy New Year everyone! 

Monday, December 26, 2022

The Dead Get Deadly

For the 1982 Sammo Hung film THE DEAD AND THE DEADLY, I naturally continued with the same visual style and general color palette I utilized in my previous Hong Kong horror comedy titles. Because of the many scenes set at night, the blue tones dominate. With contrasting orange and a glowy neon green element representing the fantastical spiritual element, the somewhat chaotic composition gives a feeling of the unexpected. The martial arts action element is downplayed in the art as it is in the film itself. 

When I was assigned this title, I knew from the start I wanted to include a visual of this "cheeky" scene where Sammo inspects a supposed eunuch. But I thought maybe it was too rude for the outer cover so I saved it for the booklet. The comedic film is a bit cartoony at times so visually I included a few comic book-style shading techniques to emphasize it's intended fun nature. It's not a truly scary horror film, it's a silly fun horror film.

Lam Ching Ying does an early version of his Taoist priest bit, Fat Chung googles his eyes, Cherie Chung struggles with animated spirits, Sammo holds his breath, Wu Ma directs and co-stars, hilarity and hijinks ensue. 

Next up... there's an issue with Bruce Lee.