the Pfeiffer Pfiles Presents....the Art Work of Artist Fred Pfeiffer

Fred Pfeiffer was an American Artist
He worked as an Illustrator out of N.Y.N.Y. and
L.A. CA. in the late 60's thru the 70's and into the 80's

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scotty Phillips : Doc Savage - the Derrick Devil

This was the 1st attempt at re-creating a Fred Pfeiffer
cover. I had admired Fred's work for a while and
when I read the short account of his technique in the
Infinite Worlds, I wanted to try a painting. I always
liked this cover and thought the scope of it would
be a challenge.

About eight years ago, I took a sheet of masonite 32" by 20" and prepared it.
I thinned my paints down a lot with medium and tried
to figure out what Fred was doing. I am pretty sure I didn't.
Despite the mistakes, I did enjoy the process though and decided
I would attempt another one in the future. The cover I was working from
was somewhat different than the one posted here on the Pfiles. The orange
looked kinda pink on my copy of the book and the other colors differed a
little here and there.



Courtney Rogers said...

Ah, Scotty Phillip's first Pfeiffer re-creation. Nice!

I first met Scotty through email when he saw my Pfeiffer presentation (through YouTube, courtesy of Billy Lampkin) at Doc Con in 2008. I was amazed that there was another Pfeiffer fan out there. I was doubly amazed, once I found out he was an artist, that he had already painted a Pfeiffer Doc Savage. And I was amazed how amazing it was!

I quickly commissioned him to paint his second Doc Savage Pfeiffer painting (Murder Mirage), and the rest is history!

Rob Weilert said...

A very well done re-creation Scotty!

I suspect Fred's version was done on a much smaller canvas or board. Were you aware of what size picture Fred was painting when you commenced this first re-creation?...or did you choose your painting's dimensions according to your own comfort level?

Scotty Phillips said...

Several reasons. Three of my paintings made it to a Pulp Con back around 2001 or 2002 that Jim Steranko was at. A fellow who was there told me that Steranko wanted to know why I painted on canvas and not masonite. All of his Shadow cover paintings are done on it.

When doing a commission work I have found that 9 times out of 10 the client will want stretched canvas. They seem to feel that all oil paintings are done that way. I was painting the Derrick Devil for me because I liked it and as a learning process. I wasn't going to try and sell it. I still have it.

I did 20 or so paintings on masonite and I found things I liked about it and some that I didn't.
I did notice that when thinning the oils down to a watery state and applying them on the masonite they ran and took on the appearance of water colors. Very transparent and because there were little to no crease or pockets for them to build in they stayed pretty smooth and consistent through out the process and dried fast. I also noted that if I used color on the under painting I could get interesting use of the transparency with various coats.

After I finished the Derrick Devil, I found out that Fred had used a sheet of masonite to paint the Doc Savage cover Mystery On the Snow. We have already posted that one here on the Pfiles. I also learned that the size of it was 20 by 30 inches.

I like to study a lot of illustrators and find that Fred is one of the more difficult ones to figure out. He is like a puzzle and fun to try and re-create. I was just guessing that he may have used some sheets of masonite on some of his work.

I decided to get a piece of masonite 20 by 32, nice and rectangle like a book cover, I wanted the derrick tower to go up and off the piece. I used masking tape on it and the tape adheres well to the masonite.

the best reason though was that I had a really nice frame that was 20 by 32. lol. When I got it finished I slapped it in and it looked great so I hung it up.

One of the things I love about your posts. You were asking Fred questions about his technique. I find them so valuable. I look forward to everyone of your contributions.
I have seen your art and wonder why you don't do more. You are absolutely fabulous. Your design, pencils, inking and color in the old school comic book style are really amazing.
I really do like it. the Molar...LOL... that is some great ideas and execution.