Monday, March 5, 2012

Ralph McQuarrie

I usually steer away from noting on the passing of individuals on here. I'd always hope to spotlight the artwork and the legacy, rather then the fact  they've passed away. But, I do want to mention Ralph McQuarrie and the imprint he's had on my brain since I was young.

Ralph was the concept painter of many film and industrial projects, but most notably, for Star Wars. In fact, it's reported that Lucas got the funding for Star Wars from FOX, because he'd used Ralph's paintings in the pitch sessions with executives. Ralph's paintings for the movie were great, mostly because the art is derived from rough drafts of the script. The paintings include odd elements which never saw the light of day (Stormtroopers with light sabers and shields??).

But Ralph disclosed on interviews that his visions for the strange worlds included in the movies, came from some near death experiences he'd survived in the Korean War. His paintings made a bigger impression on me than the movies did, and made me a huge fan of concept illustration. Here's some of my favorites:

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