I was born in 1964 in Portland, OR. After attending film school at USC,
I broke into commercial art in 1990 with the Portland based art studio,
Art Farm. My comic jobs were sporadic until 1993 when I did my break out
work on the Malibu Ultraverse book, Sludge. Since that time, I have worked
on a multitude of characters including the X-men, Deadpool, Gen 13, Xena,
Spiderman, Batman and Robin, Wetworks, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, The
Flash, Takion, Star Trek, and the self-published CHIX and Atomic Toybox
(just to name a few).
Some of my favorite artists and biggest influences include: Frank
Frazetta, Berni Wrightson, James Bama, Kevin Nowlan, Brian Bolland, Michael
Golden, William Stout, Mike Ploog, Gil Elvgren, John Severin, and everyone
else who is good.
My first exposure to ERB was the paperbacks I saw on the bookstore
racks I frequented in the early to mid 70's. Neal Adams did a series
of Tarzan book covers that were really eye catching, but it was the Pellucidar
series with the stunning covers by Frank Frazetta that got me to actually
start reading the books.
The first book I read was BACK TO THE STONE AGE. Soon after
that, I latched onto the John Carter of Mars series which to this day remains
my favorite work of Burroughs.
Back in my fan days in the 1970's Burroughs was all the rage among
comic and sci-fi fans. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be the
same fan interest in the material (at least in comics) that there once
was. While most of today's comic artists are enamored with Anime
and Animation there are a few of us that are trying to keep alive the fantasy/adventure
genre that Burroughs, Robert E. Howard and others popularized for so many
Although this type of material doesn't sell well in mainstream comics
today, artists and creators like myself, William Stout, Mark Shultz, Frank
Cho, and Mark Wheatly are trying to keep the dream alive through self-publishing
and small press venues. Personally, I find the ideas of Burroughs
more appealing artistically than any super-hero yarn could ever be.
And hopefully through our artistic diligence, Burroughs, along with all
"classic adventure", will experience yet another revival like it did in
the 60's and 70's.
I have recently completed a limited edition fantasy portfolio called
WORLDS. It consists of four black and white plates and one full
All of the illustrations are done on heavy watercolor paper.
The black and white pieces are brush and ink. I use a Rafael #2 brush
and a mixture of black india inks to get a desired density. I began
using the watercolor paper for my black and white illustration work because
I love the extra texture the paper provides. If I want a dry brush
effect it is relatively easy to obtain because of the paper's roughness.
But I can just as easily get a fine smooth line by simply using more ink
on my brush.
The color piece is inked with water proof ink and then painted with
watercolor paints. I don't usually like to ink my paintings before
applying color, but I have found that comic fans (currently my main audience)
like the black line work with the color because it looks more like what
they are used to seeing (comic book pages).
My oil paintings are done on either stretched canvas or canvas board.
Some artists like to paint on illustration board primed with gesso but
again, I prefer the texture that a canvas provides.
I will first draw a series of sketches until I am happy with a particular
composition. Then I will do a finished drawing complete with value
shading. I transfer that drawing onto the canvas using a art-o-graph and
go in and make final alterations.
When I am happy with the drawing I "ink" the line work and shading
using a single color (usually a burnt or raw sienna) of acrylic paint.
This preserves the drawing as you paint over it with oils.
I do take commissions but can only squeeze them in around my existing
comic schedule. So if you are not in too great a hurry feel free
to contact me (email@example.com) about doing a piece for you.
My oil paintings range anywhere from $600 (character portraits) to $1500
and/or detailed scenes). Watercolor paintings are cheaper
but smaller. They range between $350-750 again depending on the scope of
the piece. To get a good idea of what my paintings look like you
can check out the gallery page on my web-site www.aaronlopresti.com/gallery.html
Occasionally I will do black and white commissions if I find the
subject matter intriguing or challenging. Usually any fantasy/adventure
scene catches my interest. Prices on these vary widely depending
again on the complexity of the piece. For example, the black and
white originals from my
portfolio (shown in this article) are in the $500 range.
Please be warned, however, I do not do nudity or excessive gore and
I don't do sketches as commission work unless you catch me at a convention.
Long live Burroughs!