PSYCHO | © studio c | all rights reserved

Mixed Media – Psycho, 1960

PSYCHO | © studio c | all rights reservedIt’s almost that time of year again.  With the weather turning sour here in the PNW, and Halloween just around the corner, my thoughts begin to turn to Autumnal favorites – like Vintage horror.

For many creators, media types – film, music, photography, writing – can weave, deliciously intertwining and fueling our pursuits.  Film has long been a source of tremendous inspiration to me with seminal favorites like Hitchcock, Carpenter, and Cronenberg.

So, since I’ve been on a bit of a creative refuel jag as of late, I thought I would relive that most famous moment of Psycho: the shower scene.  It an obvious choice but only because the visually imagery is, and I imagine will remain, so striking.

I like to start these kinds of mini-projects by looking at old newspaper clippings and ads from the time period.  In this case, there were plenty of great ads from Hitchcock’s famous marketing scheme.  With his house (and reputation) on the line, Hitchcock risked everything to bring out Psycho.  Obviously, I’m glad he did.

When the preliminary – and admittedly none-to-attractive – penciling and inking is more or less the way I want it, I bring the graphics into Photoshop and begin adding color and basic shapes.  The shapes needed to tell a story, to convey the emotion of the scene – this is why they’re all moving in a sort of right to left, top down, slashing sort of way.

Other sort of conscious decisions revolve around Janet Leigh’s expression – her eyes and teeth especially.  For the eyes – I choose to drop out a lot of my inking work in Photoshop, opting to use the fiber filter.  For the teeth, I go the other way.  I remove everything but my pencil work and shade the contours a bit more, being sure to make them as white as possible.  I feel the contrast really gives the piece a focus.

As I iterate, I wonder what it would look like if I drop the more obvious blood red background ink puddles for something a bit more cool in tone – just to see how it changes the mood.  I try out a nice, retro blue and while I play around with it for an hour or so, I just really want the red.  Sometimes, a thing just boils down to the want of it.

In the end, I leave you with a fun, fangirl poster for Psycho and ask what poster would you remake?


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