Military Pin Up Illustration

This is an illustration I made for someone who wanted a pin up style logo of a 1940s army girl loading a Thompson sub-machine gun. The most challenging part of this was the planning and designing.

I was excited to do a pin up but military has never been a familiar subject for me. I had to do a bit of research on uniforms and hairstyles and I learned a lot more about machine guns than I thought I would ever need to know.

Because this was going to be used as a logo, I knew the message needed to be clear and legible. I first had to decide what would be the best way to portray someone loading a machine gun. The gun needed to be recognized as a Thompson model and pin ups are supposed to be a little sexy so I wanted a pose that would show some skin and also show off the gun. The flag wasn’t a requirement. I added that because I thought it reinforced the theme and gave some color and weight to the composition. I began with rough sketches and then gathered some reference pictures.

I had to make some adjustments along the way but once the design was approved, I started the final illustration. The way I work is a little unconventional, I don’t have any large fancy art paper, so I taped together four pieces of printer paper and drew the bulk of it by hand. I then scanned it into my computer to add color digitally using photoshop.