elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Behind the Cover: Glen Orbik & Laurel Blechman

""If you're having fun, you're doing it wrong" - Fred Fixler - The only advice Fred gave us which I didn't take to heart.

Several decades ago, with the original intention of drawing super-heroes, I started serious art study with retired illustrator, Fred Fixler. Fred was a highly skilled illustrator best known for painting movie posters ( Comedy of Terrors, Pit and the Pendulum, Man with the X-ray Eyes, Burn Witch Burn, House of Usher, Hercules- Unchained, Where the Boys Are, etc...). and elegant pretty girls. Fred had been a student of Frank Reilly and Robert Beverly Hale at the Art Students' League, with fellow classmates James Bama, Robert Maguire and Clark Hulings, among many others.

Summer Treat

American Century #11

Midnight in Paris

American Century #16

Broadway Nights

After a few years, I took over many of Fred's classes at the school he started when he retired from teaching and have continued off and on for over 20 years. While at school I met future partner and sometimes collaborator, Laurel Blechman, a fellow Fixler student and teacher. I've been lucky enough to work on everything from book covers to movie posters, collectable lithographs and plates, to video games and comic books. I've gotten to do covers for such authors as Stephen King and Ray Bradbury.

I've painted retro detectives, femme fatales, fantasy heroes, Sci-Fi rockets & Jedi's, western bandits and Hammer-style vampires. I'm a major fan of classic magazine illustration (who isn't ?), pulp paperback art, and film- noir.

A short, incomplete list of artistic influences (and a chance to name-drop...): Robert McGinnis, Gil Elvgren, Dean Cornwell, Mead Schaeffer,Andrew Loomis, John Buscema... and a healthy dose of Norman Rockwell

Partial client list: DC Comics, Vertigo, Marvel Comics, Warner Bros., Clampett Studios, Universal Pictures, Sony, Avon Books, Berkley Books, cRandom House, Del Rey, Hard Case Crime, and TSR / Dungeons and Dragons." Glen Orbik


""If it takes doing 100,000 drawings to get to the good ones, you'd better get started." - Fred Fixler

When I was a classical musician, I used to do art for relaxation - those days are gone. After trying several different art instructors, I was lucky enough to find Fred Fixler. Beyond being astounded by his drawing skills, his practical approach to teaching art really struck a cord with my own musical training. As a professional illustrator, Fred's working methods (and now our's) were very simailar to Norman Rockwell's (also a former student at the Art Student's League in NY). We do extensive research, where my background in costuming often comes in handy. ( I make Glen build the props.) Our back room is a melange of costumes, props (anyone need a Galatus helmet?), scrap files & my old comic book collection.

Roslyn's War

Quo Vadis

Video Digest

Unknown performer in viking garb

Pandor's Box

My first artistic influences were the decorative styles of artists like Aubrey Beardsley and Alphonse Mucha and the bold compositions of the early poster artists like Ludwig Hohlwein. Any partial list of major art influences would definitely include James Bama, Mead Schaefer, Bernini, Ingres, and 50's & 60's illustrators like Coby Whitmore and Al Parker who pushed the compostional envelope. And for great compostions you can't beat old black & white film noir and classic Westerns-- at least that's what I have told my students.

Partial client list: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Berkley Books, Scholastic Books, 20th Century Fox, Bic, Penzoil, Screen Writers Guild, California Bar Association" Laurel Blechman

Tags: behind the cover

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