Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Monster - Hallmark Cards 1982

At the beginning of my professional career I was a staff artist at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. The division I was in produced non-greeting card products such as door posters and birthday party sets along with other items. This was the art I created in early 1982 for a Halloween poster that came out the following year in 1983. It was intended to be something scary along the lines of a monster sneaking into your room through the window.

This project was something different and innovative for Hallmark. They started by setting up a window shoot in the company's photography department. From a black and white blow up of that picture I was to design the composition and then paint the monster from a small color transparency for reference. I also had to mat the areas of the art that would be overlapped by the photo and keep everything very precise and accurate as well as blocking out the monster for the process of running each image individually through a two step printing process.

The monster was tough to design because everything I was doing looked too menacing and threatening. Finally I was able to come up with this guy painted in gouache which is a term for opaque watercolor. The black surrounding the character is a matted area. This scan is from a photo of the original taken at the time I completed the work. 

The final result can be seen below. Technically it was a big success at the company although I have no idea how it sold. This is the first time I'm publishing the art since it was marketed by Hallmark many years ago.


Unknown said...

I really love how the colors pop in the original painting.

Unknown said...

Could you dig up some of the earlier, more menacing designs?

Unknown said...

Do you have any of the earlier versions of the creature?

Charles Z said...

Austin, I do have some of the original concepts for this poster. They're buried somewhere in my archives. When I find them I'll follow up.