Amazing Stories Album Covers

Airbrush style Album cover art for Chrysler MOPAR training program.

MOPAR Training Program Cover Illustrations
I recently gave a presentation of my work showing some of my past illustration projects done in paint. This set of covers for MOPAR where painted in airbrush and appeared in 1992. Yes-Airbrush, meaning pre-computer. In preparing for the presentation which was supposed to be a 30 minute "show and tell," I became caught up in digging through my originals and the 200 or so 8x10 transparencies I have, many of which I took on the studio's large format transparency camera. These covers for MOPAR were created for the service training program for dealerships and were meant to look like album covers done in a 1940s pulp fiction style.

It was interesting and illuminating to go through my portfolio of painted illustrations from my days at McNamara Associates (1981-1996) which was one of the premier art studios in Detroit and the country at the time. I was very lucky to get the chance to learn my craft in that place because the studio encouraged young illustrators to be creative and explore a wide range of styles and subjects in developing our skills
I found these covers while going through my work over a three week period. I was able to trace a timeline from my first successful sample art in 1983 to work commissioned in late 1995 just as I bought my first Mac. The cool thing is that I can now see the continuity in this painted work with the digital illustration produced from 1996 through 2012. In fact some have commente these images look like vector illustrations. They were actually produced by cutting countless frisquets in thin cell acetate which were lightly adhered to the illustration. 

Amazingly, I thought it would take a year to transition from paint to digital when I bought that Mac 7600 in October 1995. It actually took three weeks and I did not look back until 2005 after 10 years had passed. I began to draw and paint finished illustration samples again and continue to create traditional work for myself. You gotta keep the skills intact is what I think, and there is nothing like holding a pencil or a paintbrush in your hand.

The illustration above was used for the inside cover for the MOPAR training materials album. I had become fairly good at painting my own type by this point in my career. I did the lettering on the marquee with a fine pointed camel hair brush. The smaller type was a rubdown or glued type transfer created in our photo department.That is a Chrysler New Yorker, as I recall, in the service area These covers were painted in gouache using a Badger airbrush and lots of cell overlay "frisquets" to create the sharp edges. Chris Grant was the representative who brought this project in to McNamara.
As the model for the detective character, this was my sole self portrait as an illustrator to date.
Back to Top