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November 24 2007

First official Firefly/Serenity art by Steve Anderson. The first artwork features Kaylee.

What makes it official? Is is a QMX thing?
Aren't Jason Palmer's illustrations official, too?
Jason Palmer Studios has a print license with Universal Studios.
Yeah, but the illustration's gorgeous. I wish he were doing all nine characters.
Sorry to be so dense, but Steve Anderson doesn't ring a bell. I know, completely clueless. Hint please?
I've found his website. There's no indication of licensing on the website, but I'd assume it's officially licensed. (Strike that, it's licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP). So Universal have sold the license again, heh.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-11-24 19:52 ]
Those batty people, go figure.
I think they mean they like it, Madhatter. It is pwetty.
Very nice piece of work. I'm sure he'll have prints and what-not available soon. Me, I'd like to see that on a tee shirt. I can see folks pointing at a shirt with that on it and saying, "Who Is that?" :)
Interesting that Universal has licensed to two vendors manufacturing similar (prints) product. That's not real common unless the licensee markets to different regions.

As always, enjoyment of the piece depends on the individual, but Steve seems to have captured Kaylee better than any other licensed artist I've seen. I'd like to see him do some of the other Firefly characters. Wash and Simon seem to be very hard for artists to get right.
Steve seems to have captured Kaylee better than any other licensed artist I've seen

Well, it is basically just an artfully-played-with adaptation of an existing promotional photo of her from when the movie came out.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-11-24 22:21 ]
Thanks gossi,

All I had to go on was that Steve Anderson listed it as Official and that the Star Wars stuff on his myspace page looked official. Like Star Wars Monopoly--I've seen that in Toys-R-Us stores.

Something on his myspace gave me the impression that this was going to be posters. So maybe that is the difference between Jason Palmer's stuff and Steve Anderson stuff.

And he does t-shirts it seems. So who knows.
Pretty. Very well, snapping the jaws shut.
I was much more impressed before Bix pointed out the original photo. Still, it looks really good.
His Myspace profile indicates that he creates "styleguides" for Star Wars images that are used by licensees who create various and sundry merchandise. Fascinating - I had no idea there was this kind of quality control in 'verses like these.

Given that he works from pre-existing photos, I wonder what his method and medium are. Is it all digital manipulation, or does he combine oil and photo, or ... ?
ohbejoyful interesting point. I work from official press photos as you can't get the BDH's to sit for portraits that often ;) but I am curious too, whether it is all digital or work with oils/acrylics etc using the original photo as a guide only.

Still, a beautiful portrait. And the other work on his site are wonderful too.
An excellent rendition of our engine angel Kaylee. My guess is that it is all digitally done, and quite artfully so... but make no mistake about art created solely in the digital realm, it can involve just as much work and skill as the traditional methods.

As for working from a photograph, as it was pointed out above, unless you can get a sitting with the BDHs, a photographic reference is the only way to go. The exception might be I suppose if one has the particular ability to draw accurately from memory, then an attempt could be made at dreaming up a portrait... with varying degrees of likeness, depending on the artist. Sometimes it's better to find photographic references that aren't as often seen, that way the source photo is not so easily recognized. But if an artist finds just the right image to use for the portrait of that character, then that's the one to use.

I really like the warmth and texture of this portrait of Kaylee. Being a Photoshop gal I can't help but also observe how it may have been constructed, but I'm always doing that with art. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of his work with the rest of characters.
I'm wondering if the artist created this from scratch, while referencing a photo of Jewel on his desk?

Or did he use the actual photo in his software program and apply his own filters/effects to it?
I'm wondering if the artist created this from scratch, while referencing a photo of Jewel on his desk? Or did he use the actual photo in his software program and apply his own filters/effects to it?

If you compare them, it's pretty clear it's the latter.
I think it's a little funny that many people will see this and think "Wow, that looks just like Kaylee! That artist is awesome!" without knowing about the original stock photo.
As someone who has drawn art from life, imagination, photograph reference, and digital manipulation, I see each method as its own creative expression. There are extraordinary, fair, and poor, images that can result from each one of those approaches. The quality of the art will always be dependent upon the artist and how artfully the method is used.

While I don't wish to rate one method as superior over another, it does seem that creating art from a live model, or from imagination, tends to be perceived as more difficult and artistic. There may be some truth to that, I will not argue... but I will say that it is a challenge to create an evocative and engaging image using any of the methods. I'd much rather see masterfully created digital art, than a hand drawn, or painted, work that misses the mark and leaves me feeling flat.

Yes, this Kaylee art is most likely a digital manipulation of the promotional pic, but it is very beautifully done composition, and the artist has a good feeling for the character of Kaylee.
>I'd much rather see masterfully created digital art, than a hand drawn, or painted, work that misses the mark and leaves me feeling flat.

Couldn't agree more.
This is all well and good, and agree that it still takes some artistic talent to manipulate the digital alterations of a stock photo.

But for my money - dollars that I have spent lots and lots of, on art from the 'verse - I see Jason Palmer as the preferred artist. His photo references are just that - references - which he uses as bases to then draw unique images from scratch, by hand. The skill and craftsmanship in Palmer's art is unquestionable.
I don't find a lot of Jason's art to capture likenesses of the characters. Some are very good, some, not so much.

But, everyone has their own opinion about what is good and what is better. Neither is more right or wrong than the other.
But, everyone has their own opinion about what is good and what is better. Neither is more right or wrong than the other.


Very true. I do think that Palmer's take on the 'verse characters has only gotten better and better, though. His complete set of Serenity character portraits - which he's still finishing up - are about the best likenesses he's done yet. I have five of them so far - Mal, Kaylee, River, Zoe, and Book - and am waiting for his newest takes on Simon, Jayne, Wash, Inara, The Operative, and Serenity herself.

Apparently Universal dragging their feet on providing licensed reference photos for use has slowed the completion of these.

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