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Art tips and techniques, reviews and interviews from my studio. Archived here and at World Famous Comics.

Comics 101 Archives

Comics 101 for 04/24/2003
Star Wars Insider #66 - The Art of Grand Admiral Thrawn
Hi Joe,

I have personally waited a long time for someone to illustrate Thrawn as I always saw him in my mind. Granted that doesn't make my idea of how he looks "the right one" but your illustration fit my mental image just about perfectly. Thanks *again* Joe for magnificent work!

Thanks, Josh. I've gotten some nice compliments about my Star Wars Insider artwork, specifically for my Thrawn art so I'm really happy to hear this from you too. After originally reading Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy I had my own mental image of the character for a long time. Then for awhile it primarily stemmed from his visual interpretation in the Heir to the Empire comic book adaptation. That one stuck with me because it was so unique, exaggerated and more alien compared to some of the more realistic versions published later. I really liked those French artists' styles from that comic too.

But since I've been pushing my comic, graphic style more realistically, I wanted to draw Thrawn, and the rest of the Grand Admirals just like my Wraith pilots from Star Wars Gamer #9, as if he was an actual character that stepped out of an actual Star Wars film. Even though I was partial to it, I think it was important to downplay the more exaggerated alien appearance somewhat that other artists sometimes visualized previously (primarily around the forehead, eyes and hairline, something you often see more in Star Trek humanoid aliens) and focus more on the cool, calculating and menacing look of the character. I really liked the idea of having his portait be one of the few of the set that's looking up and directly at the viewer, confronting them almost in an intimidating way. I'm glad my vision of the character lived up to your expectations!

Take Care,

Here's a look at how my 'Grand Admiral Thrawn' artwork for Star Wars Insider #66 evolved from rough sketch, to line art, to inks and then final full color art...

Rough Sketch (left), Line Art (right)
Rough Sketch and Line Art

Inks (left), Final Color Art (right)
Final Art

See you next week for a new Comics 101. I'm off to Pennsylvania where I'll be appearing at the Pittsburgh ComiCon this weekend, April 25th through the 27th. I'll be doing sketches and will have my original Star Wars art with me along with prints of my artwork available for sale so be sure to find me in Artist Alley at the show if you plan on going. It should be a great time and I hope to see some of you there!


<< 04/17/2003 | 04/24/2003 | 05/01/2003 >>

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