Empire Thirty, Art New, Page 2 Art
This continuation of a previous article is the next artwork in our series by Empire Artists. So let’s get started with the famous, Katie Cook.
“I really love the visual of all the bounty hunters,” Katie says, “Their designs are SO much fun and having the chance to draw all of them standing shoulder to shoulder is something I just couldn’t turn down! Everyone always gives Boba Fett all the love… but what about Bossk? What about Zuckuss? They’re awesome and just as deserving of some attention!”
Katie’s Style was planned straight out and is now popular. “Star Wars is for everyone… at its heart, it’s an all-ages adventure! My art has a tendency to appeal to kids AND adults…. just like Star Wars itself! I have fans that are five and fans that are 50 (both male and female!) and I feel grateful that so many people like to see the adorable side of the Force. One of the fun things about being a cartoonist is that you can warp things (like masks!) to convey more emotion. It’s way more fun than doing a straight-up, photo-realistic rendering of a helmet (and I think the pitying look coming from Dengar is for himself… because he’s Dengar and no one ever remembers him. Poor, pooooor Dengar).”
“This scene was in the section I was given from the movie — the arrival at Cloud City to the betrayal in the dining room scene. My original attempt was Boba behind the corner in the dining room waiting to come out and take his prize, but I just could not get it right. It was either going to be an odd angle or too much going on in one area, and a lot of dead space. So I re-watched it over again and thought the scene with C-3PO getting sidetracked into that room and getting blown to pieces by an unknown opponent was exciting, moody and dark. We all know that when Threepio is being put together by Chewbacca he says, “Stormtroopers…here?” I wanted to piece that scene together and show what Threepio might have seen before he was shot. I threw in some Ugnaughts, as they could have been selling secrets to the stormtroopers when Threepio accidentally stumbled in on their conversation.”
“It’s a mixed media piece, all done by hand. Blood, sweat and tears went into that piece. I am very proud of it. Pencils, pen and inks, Prisma color markers, color pencils, acrylic paint, you name it, it’s probably in there.”
Illustrating scenes from a 30-year-old movie! Sort of. I’m a concept artist/art director at LucasArts, so my day job for the last ten years has been designing characters, vehicles, and environments for the Star Wars universe. I was very excited to have the opportunity to take part in this series, because I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I can remember, and Empire in particular is one of my first memories
“This is my favorite Star Wars scene for several reasons. First of all, because of the memorable quote…”I love you… I know.” That is one of the single greatest romantic exchanges in all of cinema, in my book. But also, I love it because of the overall tension. It’s about the only time in any Star Wars movie that so many big players are in one location at the same time, but without any major confrontation going on. It was a good opportunity to have one image with Boba, Vader, Han, Leia, Chewie, and C-3PO all present. And finally, I love the set design and lighting. It’s a bit of a departure from the other locations inStar Wars, and it creates a really striking mood.”
For The Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Artwork Collection’s tenth entry, artist Michael Fleming has created a whimsical image suggesting a little more was going on in the film’s climactic duel scene that meets the eye. “Ugnaught Retreat”, with an edition size of just 100 pieces, is now available at StarWarsShop.
“I had originally planned an illustration of one of my favorite scenes from Empire, where Vader uses telekinesis to batter Luke, but it was a little too dry. I then started thinking about the surroundings of the carbon-freezing chamber and how the Ugnaughts were undoubtedly scrambling to collect all their precious equipment as Luke and Vader face off.” We just couldn’t see the little guys on the lower platforms.
This was the original concept which sort of stuck to plan through to the end. This humorous peice will soften even the toughest Wampa’s heart.
What technique and materials did you use for “Ugnaught Retreat”?
“The first step is sketching out tiny thumbnails with pencil and paper, to get a flow going. I then move onto Photoshop using a Cintiq and sketch out a larger rough. Using that sketch as a guide, I then build up the illustration on layers (too many to count) and paint away!”
This scene in particular is one of the most important scenes in the entire Star Wars series, not to mention one of the most iconic scenes in all of cinema. The infamous “father” twist was so impactful on storytelling and pop culture throughout the last 30 years. Even last year with a project that I was working on, someone actually suggested that the villain in my story turn out to be the hero’s father.
Plus, I was up for a challenge. I knew that there were very few different ways for me to approach this scene with a different perspective. The scene itself, visually, is just as iconic. So I wanted to take that challenge.
I think I have a very fluid, organic style with a lot of my line and brush work, and I always felt like the moment that Luke fell from that structure, he was in a way set free. I always imagined him falling in a graceful manner, almost floating through a chamber filled with water and illuminated by glowing lights that looked like fish. I figured there wasn’t a better explanation as to how he couldsurvive that fall unless he did kind of spiritually let himself go. And I loved getting a chance to draw Vader in a creepier, menacing fluid style. That was fun.
“The Vader Project” by Alex also included many other masks such as this a few years ago.
Can you describe the materials and technique used on this piece?
To create this piece I worked out a bunch of different sketches. I was challenged with trying to find an original approach to this iconic scene, so I went through a lot of sketches, but thought that this one, though a little less accurate to the actual scene and a little more dynamic and suggestive instead, fit the scene and my style the best.
So from there I drew both of the main elements — Darth Vader and Luke — separately with black ink and a brush on Bristol board. I then created a few separate layers of texture by painting and splattering some watercolor on separate pieces of board. Next I composited all of the elements digitally in Photoshop, and from there I got to actually paint digitally and manipulate all of the watercolors and textures so that the shapes I wanted to stand out, did. It was a fun back-and-forth process and I would love to do it again.