Has it really been almost a year ago, during Thanksgiving break, that I was working on the sketches for these three packages? Our family drove up to San Jose last year for the family festivities...me, dragging along half of my studio to assist me in the sketch phase. I was shooting photos, cutting apart and reassembling action figures, and surfing the internet for various reference needed to arrive at the best results. The bedroom that four of us shared, looked like an ADHD seizure, thanks to me. Somehow I did manage to finish the sketches while away. Twas a typical 'freelancers' vacation.
The three characters that Paul Hebron, the art director, asked me to illustrate this time around, was Kit Fisto, Asajj Ventress and General Grievous.
These were Paul's descriptions of the direction he was envisioning:
Asajj Ventress: I think it is better to show her with the bottom skirt. Would be nice to show it partially opened or removed to flash some leg. She could have a wide legged stance with strong camera eye contact if we do her with a straight forward view. Shoulders back. Face with her typical scowl.. Or check this out, maybe a slightly amused look with one eyebrow raised like, “you dare challenge me?”. Two lightsabers. Could be connected but not needed.
General Grievous: I don’t want to show him hunched over like in many other images. More straight up standing. Even though he grieves, I want to show the Sheelal warrior side of his personality. He is proud and skilled with an aggressive pose-- only two lightsabers. Side pose with left arm front? The cloak that we spoke about-not tattered or damaged but flowing royally.
Kit Fisto: He was a renowned male Nautolan Jedi Master in the waning years of the Galactic Republic. A very likeable guy with a winning smile, even at times in battle Fisto met an ignominious end with a smile on his face, much to the surprise of Anakin Skywalker when he arrived. "Sleep, all life is a dream." ―Kit Fisto
Out of the three of these, Asajj Ventress was the most enjoyable for me to illustrate. White skin is fun to paint, as well as strong, intimidating women. I did the first sketch of her. Paul wanted to try a version with her looking a bit more sinister, with crossed lightsabers and a snarl. I used what has become my typical mixed media approach to paint these, washes and splatterings of acrylic, followed by building up and rendering the details with acrylic, and oil on top of that. Colored pencils are worked in here and there around edges, to pop and carve out specific areas. By the way, my old trusty airbrush is still my best friend when it comes to lightsabers... no Photoshop there. As my son would say, I'm still "kick'n it old school", and I have a sneaking suspicion my school's not going to get any younger.