Practice & Studies

Gil Elvgren study

Gil Elvgren is my favorite pinup artist. I love his composition, posing and rendering.

I did some quick studies of his posters.

Here are some anatomy and style notes I took.

I noticed the face being expressive. He likes drawing it with a cheeky suprised look.



I like how he does hairs too. It’s very brushy and has a blurry and sharp look at the same time.


During this study, I explored which good brush I could use for skin.

I like painting the skin this way:
1. Make a palette. My palette usually constitute of a pale base pink or yellow beige, a dark color for shadows, a bright blue for highlight, a red for the blood and an orange to intensify colors. Sometimes, I add a medium blue in the shadows.
2. I apply the base color on the whole skin surface.
3. I add the shadows with diferent opacities.
4. I add the red where it should be more reddish(the cheeks, the nose and the eyes’ contour).
5. I add the orange to some spots (Around the eyes, between the shadows and midtones).
6. I blend the colors together by using the pipette. This will create more color varieties by mixing the pink with the red with the orange.
7. I boost some of the light and shadows with darker and lighter tones.
8. I also often finish with some very strong touches of highlight.


I will probably dedicate some time for more studies. They are very useful and force you to learn and observe as you reproduce their work.


3 thoughts on “Gil Elvgren study

  1. My goodness! So very artistic. And I’m true with my words, you definitely have a great potential to become a legendary artist. And I won’t be surprised at all if I see this blog in the list of top 10 art blogs.


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