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Heir to the Empire, poster

Hi all! I have so much to say about this project! So for those of you who aren't super Star Wars nerds "Heir to the Empire" was a book written back in 1991 that was meant to be the direct sequel to "Return of the Jedi". I read it probably 25 years ago and have wanted to see it made into a movie ever since. The book introduces several characters that have since become beloved to the avid nerds who digest Star Wars for breakfast. Notably, Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade, who would later become Mara Jade Skywalker. After Disney removed some of this story line from cannon and all the actors retired, passed away, or just plain aged out of their rolls, I've had to give up on ever seeing this film get made. So I decided I could at least see the poster and I've been playing with the idea of creating one for a long time. Fast forward to 2020 and Covid 19 leaves me with a boat load of free time, so why not embark on what ended up being a long odyssey of artistic growth and technique building.

I'd had to start by casting the character's I wanted to add from the novel. I knew if this was an actual production that it would have to be made in the early 90's, so I started looking for actors that were the right age and look for the parts in 1990(which was super fun to do). I ended up casting Elisabeth Shue as Mara Jade, Jeremy Irons as Thrawn, and one of my favorite choices Martin Landau as the crazed clone of long dead Jedi, Jorus C'baoth. I also started with what turned out to be an incredibly lazy initial drawing, one of the big things I learned from this, is to draw it all accurately before doing anything else. The method I've developed in the creation of the piece is based on what I've discovered from analyzing the posters of Drew Struzan.

After taking a long hard look at a High Res Struzan poster (half way through making this, derp). I realized that Struzan works out his drawing thoroughly, almost as if it's a detailed pen and ink with lots of perfectly placed lines. Then the red-orange and yellow washes. The red-orange color ends up becoming the skin tone which is adjusted with brown, black, and white pencil. It's really very simple just beautifully rendered. I never quite achieved anything close in this piece but I have a solid plan for the next one, and may finally return to traditional media. After some study I decided to focus more on line and drawing rather than painting. Which I should have remembered from my former professor Donald Early, "if you can't say it with line you can't say it".

Anywho, I hope you all enjoy my Corona art! I’m open to questions and comments and as usual I’m accepting commissions. Get yourself a Star Wars themed poster with your family or band mates on it, or whatever!