Friday, October 5, 2012

Another homage to Frazetta

                                                                 -By Petar Meseldzija

About a year ago I posted an entry about the making of the Death Dealer drawing, which was my first homage to Frazetta. Upon seeing the finished piece, the client who commissioned the drawing asked me if I would be willing to do a painting of the same composition. I accepted but shortly after I realized that this might be even a bigger challenge, because the inclusion of color in the process will increase my anxiety, for now I will be working in the shadow of the full scale of Frazetta’s talent. The question about the actual meaning of a homage, and the purpose of such a venture  appeared in my mind. To be honest, I never liked the surrogates and epigones. I always greatly appreciated the integrity  and the uniqueness of the artistic expression.  Therefore making just a simple copy of this iconic character was out of the question.
I have to say that making copies of other artist’s work is not strange to me. During my studies at the art academy I did a few copies of the old master’s paintings. The purpose of it was sheer practice. In this way I hoped to learn something that I could not get from my art teachers.  Although it was not done by the book, so to speak, for I painted the copies from the reproductions, not from the originals, it was highly satisfying and useful, and I collected the knowledge that I was not able to find anywhere else back then.
Milk Maid, after Vermeer, 1991.
When it comes to my Frazetta Death Dealer interpretations, my objectives are quite different . Although I have to “copy” the master’s character, I don’t intend to copy his technique or style. I am supposed to  take his character as a starting pointing and then bring it into my world and reinterpret it so that it gets a distinctive flavor of my style and my thinking. But still, a heavy shadow of the master's abilities is hanging above my head and making me feel a little incompetent. Of course I knew that Frazetta was truly unique and marvelous, but only when you try to make a Frazetta painting, you realize how damn good he was. He was, and still is, the Michelangelo of Fantasy Art!
Anyway, here is the underpainting of my new Death Dealer piece. At this moment I really don’t know how the painting will evolve. I have some vague ideas about the direction I want to go, but it’s more likely that the forthcoming battle with this demanding piece will define the final results. I have to wait and see, just like you…



  1. It's great but look how the image gains much more if you erase the axe of the left.
    ¡Good work Peter!

  2. A master painting a master. This will be fantastic! I have to say that you, Justin Gerard and Boris Vallejo all paint such beautiful underpaintings. It's almost a shame to put color over them!

  3. A fantastic piece, Petar. Full of movement and muscle, the dynamism alone more than pays homage to Frazetta. And, underneath it all, that rock solid pyramid composition. I can't wait to see the finished painting. Good luck with the battle!

  4. At last! Long time no process posts from you and now you just made my head explode with this one! I am a great fan of that drawing you did after Frazzeta and I have all it's stages in a folder of it's own. Think you rly captured the motion and the pure awesomeness which r essentian for FF, even though I had some issues with it like this overgrown guy on the left(I'd be honest- I dint like him). Now I see you've remade that part of the composition and now in my humble is perfect!I am shaking in exitement to see it finished and with your blessing this shall be my descktop wallpaper until the end of days...which is some 3 months away from now :D

  5. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, guys!
    Obviously, the word “encouraging” doesn’t apply to the last part of your last sentence, Gollorr :D

  6. Petar, this is really amazing. I mean, personally, I would totally buy the underpainting in its current state. Can't wait to see the finished painting!


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