Progress of Dr. Phibes Plague of Locusts

Let’s switch gears and take a look at some progress shots from a horror/psychedelic piece I did a couple of years back, about one of my favorite movie characters, The Abominable Dr. Phibes. I did this as a vector piece for the most part, figuring that using zillions of shape layers would add a subtle angularity and therefore a dimension of unreality to the piece. I also wanted to use super crazy saturated colors, so having a ton of solid and transparent little shapes that couldn’t really blend and get muddy like paints to also helped. I was pretty darned happy with how it came out, honestly! Looking at the progress shots really kind of cracks me up though, especially the initial sketch. He almost reminds me of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas…

Also, if you notice the first sketch says “Impressions of Africa.” For some reason I was thinking of the Dali painting of that name when I conceived this piece. I forget why…maybe because Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes reminds me a little bit of Dali at his most dramatic. Dali certainly paints himself in a theatrical way in “Impressions of Africa.” I tried to mirror Dali’s pose a bit in the sweeping gesture of Dr. Phibes, but by the end of it I’d forgotten about Dali and had no thoughts other than making it as lurid as possible. Hopefully I succeeded!

dali impressions of africa

2 thoughts on “Progress of Dr. Phibes Plague of Locusts

  1. Well I for one am so attracted to these colors. But if you look at my art, I tend to go with bold sometimes garish colors myself. It’s just what I like. So *I SO LOVE* this piece! Not saying these are garish colors, not at all in my book. Just the opposite.
    Funny you thought you saw a little Grinch in there. My first thoughts were of Pumpkinhead. Ha ha… I love that B movie. Are you a Vincent Price fan? A couple years ago I dressed up as “Red Death” for Halloween.
    This is an excellent piece Heather. Well done! Do you use Photoshop or Illustrator? and are you using a stylus pen with tablet (surely you are)?

    1. I absolutely adore Vincent Price…in fact, I named my two year old son Vincent after him and Vincent van Gogh! “The Masque of the Red Death” is one of my favorite Poe stories of all time, I wish I’d seen that costume!!

      As for what I use, I use a WACOM tablet with a stylus. This piece was done in photoshop 7, as were most of my digital pieces I’ve posted so far. I’ve recently started using Paint Tool SAI and that gives me a more painterly feel in pieces like Yggdrasil and more control over my lines when I have to design cartoon pieces like the Evillecon Mascots. However, Photoshop is still invaluable to finish pieces off. Then I’m using it more like the photo-editing program it was designed to be, only the original painting I just made in another program is the “photo!”

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