Deadpool Artwork (and Telugu Parody Poster)

Everything about the upcoming Marvel Comics’ superhero movie Deadpool looks brilliant.  I have not read any of the comics, but when the first trailer was released a few months ago, the movie seemed interesting.  After that, there have been a number of posters and trailers that have come out, and all of them were very creative and well done.  I was really inspired by these and so did a drawing, and also made that into a poster, which you can see below.

Deadpool Artwork by Karthik AbhiramDeadpool stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, a former soldier who is diagnosed with terminal cancer, but is put through an experimental treatment that leaves him with incredible regenerative powers (but also makes him completely disfigured so he has to wear a mask and a suit).  From the trailer, it looks like the people who put him through the experiment also kidnap the love of his life, and he has to go after them.

The character was featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (also played in that movie by Ryan Reynolds), though he was just some generic villain there.

This movie though, is proudly Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity, and the studio issued multiple Red Band Trailers with violence and offensive jokes.

The first trailer that came out for this movie ended with Deadpool sniffing the smoke coming from his guns, and then saying “Oh, I’m touching myself tonight”, and this drawing depicts that scene (in the trailer though, you only see an extreme close-up of his face).  How I came to choose this scene to draw is this – you see, interestingly, the studio seems to be investing quite a bit to promote this movie in India (though Deadpool is not a known character here), and are releasing dubbed versions of the movie in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu apart from the English version.  A friend literally translated that line into Telugu and in a later WhatsApp conversation, suggested that the title would also be translated, and he came up with “Chacchina Cheruvu” (a pool or a lake that is dead).  I thought I would make a poster out of it.

Here is the Telugu parody poster.  This is all done in fun, no offense meant.

Deadpool Poster Telugu Version - Art by Karthik AbhiramIn the English version of my poster, the line I used is also from the first trailer, in which Wade Wilson tells the people putting him through the experiment, not to make the super-suit green, or animated.  This is a reference to the DC Comics movie Green Lantern, which also starred Ryan Reynolds as the titular superhero, and in that movie, his suit was green and animated.  I did not like that movie at all, and apparently neither did too many other people, so a joke on that ended up in Deadpool.

The drawing was done on an A4 size drawing pad, with a 6B pencil, and a red colour pencil.  For the belt I used an orange pencil.  The drawing was scanned once done, and I added the background and the text in Photoshop.  Here are the stages of the drawing –

Deadpool Artwork - Stages - by Karthik AbhiramAnd this is the rough sketch of the poster concept.  There were initially supposed to be blood splats behind Deadpool, but when I tried that it didn’t look good.  Since Deadpool’s suit is also red, the red colour of the blood was distracting.

The tagline and the title of the movie in Telugu, I had decided, would be in the Deadpool font but would have an English translation below it, sort of like a movie subtitle.

Deadpool Poster RoughThe below Instagram post shows you the finished drawing and the pencils used to make it.

Here is a short behind the scenes video that I also posted on Instagram, early on in the process of drawing.

Here below, are links to all the trailers that inspired this drawing.  All of them are YouTube links which will open in a new window / tab.

  • Red Band Trailer 1 – Released a few months ago, this is the one that has the “I’m touching myself tonight” bit.
  • Red Band Trailer 2 – This is the second trailer for the movie released on Christmas Day, and is a pretty awesome trailer, the one that made me even more interested in the movie.
  • Green Band Trailer 2 – The “safe for work” version of the previous trailer, with no swearing and violence.  All the Indian language trailers are dubbed versions of this trailer.
  • Hindi Trailer – The first Indian language trailer, based on the Green Band Trailer linked above.  Probably, the one with the most swearing in it.  Buzzfeed India featured an article about this trailer, which has captioned screenshots from it.  You can see the article here.
  • Tamil Trailer – Second Indian trailer, nothing much offensive about it.
  • Telugu Trailer – Third Indian trailer, again, not offensive at all.

These are the three songs used in the trailers (again, YouTube links).

The font used in the poster is called Rogue Hero.

A version of this artwork is available for you to purchase as a print (sans text), on my Postergully store.  You can purchase it as a poster, or as a T-Shirt.

Deadpool will be out in theatres on 12-Feb-16 in India.  I’ll see it in as many languages as I can theatrically, and then watch an uncut version later (since sadly, I know that our censors would make cuts to the movie inspite of giving it an adults only certificate).

Dramatic Skies in B&W – Behind the Scenes

I posted the below photo on my Instagram feed yesterday, and people seemed to like it, so I thought I’d do a little behind the scenes post.


That’s the dramatic black and white sky photo.  The photo was taken yesterday afternoon while I went out for lunch (that’s the advantage of going out everyday) on my Micromax Canvas HD phone.

The original image is rather dull and uninteresting as it is –


I took it into Snapseed and straightened it.  Initially, I thought I’d include the electrical wire as a straight line in the final photo.  But after straightening, when I was trying to work out a crop that looked good, I decided to do away with the wire and just focus on the sky.

I applied the “Drama” filter in Snapseed and then boosted saturation.  That resulted in the below image, which is a bit more visually interesting than the original –


But this looks kind of overcooked and garish.  I thought I’d play with the colours to tone it down a bit and then post.  But then, I decided to try a black and white conversion.  Snapseed has a nice set of options for converting a photo into B&W.

In Snapseed you can simulate putting a colour filter in front of the lens when taking a B&W photo.  If you’re shooting on B&W film, putting a red, yellow or orange semi-transparent filter in front of the lens has the effect of darkening the sky.  Basically, anything that’s blue will get darkened.


That’s a sample screenshot of applying the filter.  (It’s being applied to another panorama photo I took yesterday.)

So here I saturated the image further since I knew the more blue that’s present in the image, the darker the sky would be.  I think I used an orange filter for the final image.  Tweaked the contrast and brightness a little, added some grain, and there you have it.

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Raw Deal

I am a big fan of 1980s action movies, and as a kid, I used to idolise Arnold SchwarzeneggerCommando, Predator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day I think I would have seen about 50 times or more.  Well, recently, I was looking up some 1980s music tracks on YouTube and I came upon the track “Kaminski Stomps” from the 1986 Schwarzenegger movie Raw Deal.  This is one of Schwarzenegger’s lesser-popular movies from that era, and I had only seen it a few times, many years ago (watched it in the theatre when I was in school, and then later on on VHS, and on TV).  So I rewatched it a couple of days back, and while not up to the standard of those other movies, this was pretty fun.  That inspired this drawing –

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Raw Deal - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramThe drawing was done in ballpoint pen mostly.  I used a bit of red gel pen to add the blood splats, and the gun was done with a black marker pen.  Nothing that fancy.  I scanned the image and then added a paper texture to it, and then the text, in Helvetica Neue font.

You may notice that the title of the movie is different in my poster – it says Triple Identity.  That was one of the working titles for the movie, before it got retitled to Raw Deal.  I thought that sounded stylish, so I used that instead.

The movie stars Schwarzenegger as Mark Kaminski, an ex-Federal Agent working as a Sheriff in a small town (doesn’t this sound very similar to his 2013 The Last Stand?), after a legal case forced him to resign.  He is approached by the FBI’s Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin) to infiltrate the gang of Chicago mobster Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker) and take the whole operation down.  Kaminski enters the gang posing as the criminal Joseph P Brenner, and what follows is a fun outing as he carries out what he was asked to do.

I’d rate the movie overall a 7/10, as the action quotient is a bit less here, but one thing to enjoy are the one-liners.  I also liked the music by Cinemascore (which I guess is an umbrella term for the people who contributed music to the movie – Chris Boardman, Tom Bahler, Albhy Galuten).

In-progress Drawings

Here are a few in-progress shots as I was drawing this.  These were all taken on my phone (Micromax Canvas HD) camera and processed in Snapseed.  The collage was made with the PhotoGrid app and I finally posted both of them on Instagram.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in RAW DEAL - Artwork by Karthik Abhiram - In-ProgressThis below picture I call “Kaminski Stomps”, after the name of the track that inspired me to do this entire drawing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in RAW DEAL - In progress artwork by Karthik Abhiram


You can find music from the soundtrack uploaded on YouTube.  Below are two of my favourites.

“Kaminski Stomps” – this is the track that plays during the end credits –

“Brains & Trains” – this is the track that plays during the opening scene of the movie –

The movie is good fun.  Nobody Gives Schwarzenegger a Raw Deal!

Resident Evil: Retribution Drawing – Original Scan

A couple of days back, I was showing my drawing of Resident Evil: Retribution to some people and they were asking me what elements of the final image was done traditionally, and what was added digitally.

So, I thought I’d post the original scan of this drawing to show this.  You can click the below image to see an even larger version –

My scanner is a Canon CanoScan LiDE 110, which produces very nice images.  It doesn’t require a power source – just connect through USB and you are good to go.  The software that comes with the scanner has an “Auto Adjust Colours” option, which automatically boosts the contrast in the image (unlike other scanners, where the scanned image would be very light).

The drawing was done on a sketchbook that has A5 size paper.  So it’s quite small.  And the orange/brown area at the bottom of the image is my hand – I normally press down the book onto the bed of the scanner so that it picks up as much detail as possible.

I scan images at the highest resolution that the software will allow.  Editing is also done at that big size.  This scan for example, was 4865 x 6984 pixels in dimension.  After doing edits in Photoshop Elements, I make an 800 or 1000 pixel-wide image which I post online (Facebook, etc), but I always keep the huge PSD file, so that I can take a large size print if I want.  I follow a similar procedure for photos as well.