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Making Of: 'Bad' Pinup

By Hani Troudi
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Date Added: 24th June 2013
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I’ve always loved pinup art, but never really had the time to do any myself, until now. It’s also that I’ve been a bit afraid of illustrating the female body. There are lots of great pinup artists and images out there, and the challenge is fierce to come up with something that stands out.

I will share with you the process of creating Bad; I hope you find it amusing and helpful.


With the sixties in mind, I had a vague vision of what the final image would look like, so I spent a great amount of time searching for sixties images. I Googled hairstyles, make-up, outfits and color themes, and ended up with loads of reference material. One of them was a Newsweek cover of the breathtaking Jean Shrimpton; I instantly fell in love with it and started painting.

First Sketches

I usually start with the face; I just can’t carry on with the rest of the body until the face is perfect. My strokes here are primitive; their main purpose is to define the borders, which will be filled with paint. I also sometimes draw lines between light and shadow, but for this particular one I was satisfied with the outlines since there wouldn’t be any hard shadows (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

At this point I worked on a 2K canvas, which I resized after finishing the sketch. I recommend doing the sketch on a small sized canvas, as the strokes will curve more easily this way and it will eliminate any wiggly lines that can appear while working on a big canvas.

As for the background, I concluded that by working on a non-white canvas, I was less likely to dump the painting at an early stage. I’d suggest avoiding starting on a plain white background, as it can be quite frustrating sometimes.

Figure and Pose

When I was satisfied with the head I started sketching different gestures until I achieved a good composition. This process took quite a long time and I almost gave up on the whole thing a couple of times. It’s like navigating through a set of scattered thoughts, then finally grabbing the right one and laying it on the canvas (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

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