10 artists provoking a pin-up revolution

How To Draw Perfect Pinups Each And Every Time

Daily design news, reviews, how-tos and more, as picked by the editors. Daniela experiments with styles a lot with her work – from Bettie Boop shaped cartoon pin-ups, to sensual, soft core nudes, realism to posterised styling – there is nothing she cannot master. She is particularly fond of a few tentacles – just like her contempary, Serge Birault (see next page!). Babs has created dynamic comic covers for DC as well as working for Hasbro and Disney.

“Pin-up artists used to be mainly men drawing women for men. Those women were typically depicted with nothing more then a sweet smile and a couple of contextual props.” Unlike previous ranks of women worshipers, these modern day pin-up artists resist pigeonholing – a loose group of men and women around the world with different backgrounds, interests (other than women), all working in different mediums. If you want to improve your drawing skills before you get going on pin-up art, check out our how to draw post that collates the best drawing tutorials out there. These 10 artists express unique visions, passing power back to the ladies. As a makeup style, the classic pin-up underwent a revival in modern fashion. The red lip and winged eyeliner made a re-emergence in 2010, with singer Katy Perry being the most accessible example of modern pin-up makeup.


These images were typically printed on posters or calendars and were meant to be “pinned up” on walls as decoration. I select to the layer with the lines, which is the uppermost layer and in Multiply mode. With Lock Transparent Pixels checked I paint them with a simple brush, using a dark brown colour for the body lines or a dark blue colour for the clothing lines. Still with the Lock Transparent Pixels option checked, I select a default brush with 0 per cent Hardness and paint the some areas of her clothes a dark blue What Game Are They Playing in Casino Royale?.

Defining characteristics of the artistic style include a cheerful face, a mix of humour and sex appeal, but without crossing the line into becoming provocative. The Golden Age artists were creating pin-up paintings for calendars shipped over to homesick GIs during World War II, resulting in flirtatious cheesecake imagery that titilated sex-starved young men. Take a look at history’s greatest pinups and you’ll see what we mean.


Burrichter launched the first issue in 2006, which featured a cover story on Rick Owens’ house that displayed his furniture designs for the first time to the public. The magazine has run features and interviews on a number of prominent architects such as Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Maria Pergay, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Martino Gamper, and Ettore Sottsass.[1] Each issue of the magazine has a theme. Previous issues have explored the “Post-Normal”, “Flamboyant Restraint”, and “Bourgeois Shenanigans” as well as urban-themed issues on Los Angeles, Berlin, and Milan. The free figure posing app for artists – create poses references for your drawings with ease using a model poser. Overall, pin-up art is a significant part of popular culture and has been an important part of our history, reflecting the changing attitudes towards women and sexuality over the course of the last century.

Then I paint the lighter parts of the clothes with a blue that’s a couple of shades lighter. After I’ve created my colour layer, I duplicate it and fill it with a different colour. Next, I switch to the Pen tool and use this to select the areas that I want to reveal, for example just the character’s skin, and then mask off surrounding areas. Now I select the Lock Transparent Pixels option, which enables me to accurately paint in specific areas. I follow the same process for the hair, clothing and other key elements of the artwork.


Photographers such as George Hurrell and Edward Steichen created iconic images of Hollywood stars such as Jean Harlow and Greta Garbo that were widely popular and widely reproduced in magazines and newspapers. Once I’m happy with the character’s clothes, I turn my attention to the face and create a new layer for the eyes, lips and teeth, so that they stand out from the base colours in each particular area. I select a basic medium tint for the skin that’s neither too dark nor too light. Transparent Pixels checked, I apply a flat lilac colour to the flower and I paint the bottom part with a simple blue brush.

If you want an amazing pin-up girl artwork that stands out from the competition, work with a professional designer. Find and hire a designer to make your vision come to life, or host a design contest and get ideas from designers around the world. I create another layer over my coloured hair layer and I draw some details with a default Photoshop brush, increasing the Hardness to 85 per cent, which introduces a sense of lustre on the hair without going over the top. I also decide that there will be lighting on the back of her hair, so on another layer, and again with an increased Hardness setting, I create lighting that follows the direction I want the hair to have. “I love a tattooed and pierced pin-up woman in her bathroom, with her pet octopus, as much as women coming from the worlds of burlesque,” says German artist Daniela Uhlig. “What I also find eye-catching and interesting is the melding together of different styles. Especially the mixing of cartoon styles within the classic pin-up form.”

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The term pin-up was first attested to in English in 1941.[3] Images of pin-up girls were published in magazines and newspapers, as postcards and as lithographs, and calendars. The counterpart of the pin-up girl is the male pin-up, also known as beefcake, including celebrated actors and athletes who appeal to girls, adolescents, and women, such as the actor James Dean, the singer Jim Morrison, and the male model Fabio. In 2013, Pin-Up Interviews, a collection of over fifty interviews featured in Pin-Up since 2006, was published by PowerHouse Books.[7] The book covers over 50 conversations and interviews from Pin-Up. The 448-page book has no pictures; subjects include architects Odile Decq and Charles Renfro, fashion designers Rick Owens and Hedi Slimane, and artists Daniel Arsham and Robert Wilson. Pin-up art has a rich history dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The term “pin-up” refers to a type of artwork that features attractive, often scantily-clad women in provocative poses.

Using this method, you’ll learn how to divide your drawing up into a grid made up of nine parts – the point where the lines intersect will usually draw the viewer’s attention, so experiment with some different ideas using thumbnail sketches until you find the one that works best. Over the past decades, the conversation about human bodies has shifted through spaces, vocabularies, and theories. In this issue, PIN–UP dresses down the human form and its politics to examine a moment that, for a long time now, has been considered through the vehicle of architecture. We hope to create new points of reference through intimate conversations and posits of self-reflection. Pin-up art has had a lasting impact on popular culture, influencing everything from fashion and beauty to advertising and pop art. Today, pin-up art is still popular and can be found in a variety of forms, from vintage reproductions to contemporary art and photography.

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I also add some lighting on the skin and the clothes in general, as well as some wavy lines to create the impression of separate hairs standing out. Over the years, there have been changes in character portrayal, not only in relation to style of hair and clothing, but also in how the artist has rendered pin-up art to appeal to audiences of the time. The origins of pin-up art can be traced back to the late 19th century, but it became more widespread in the 1940s and 1950s, often appearing on posters and calendars.

1990 marked the first year that Playboy’s Playmate of the Year was an African-American woman, Renee Tenison. Historically, Black women in pin-up are still not as common as their white counterparts. However, the recent revival of pin-up style has propelled many Black women today to dabble with and make works based on the classic pin-up look to create their own standards of beauty. In Jim Linderman’s self-published book, Secret History of the Black Pin Up,[35] he describes the lives and experiences of African-American pin-up models. The term pin-up refers to drawings and paintings, illustrations and photographs of semi-naked women.


The English artist often brings a darkness to his female characters, creating gothic hell-raisers both in colour and personality. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier to reach millions of people worldwide than ever before – why not tell us about it via our Facebook or Twitter pages? You could also create a gallery on other popular social media channels, such as Pinterest, Deviantart or Behance.

With the retrospective 60’s feel to his work, it’s deeply rooted in nostalgia and has made him one of the most well known and distinctive cover artists in the business. “When I was a youngster, I invented my own female heroine and drew stories featuring her,” says Aly. “Jacqueline was her name. She was a pirate, highwaywoman, Arabian princess – all sorts of things.” Less is definitely more when it comes to pinups – a fact acknowledged by pinup professional, Laurie B! Dian Hanson is a senior editor and writer for TASCHEN, with over 50 books to her credit. In addition to ARNOLD, her recent works include The Art of Pin-up, Masterpieces of Fantasy Art, and The Fantastic Worlds of Frank Frazetta.

Create clean sketch lines

Learn how to make your pin-up girl artwork stand out from the crowd. The final details usually are added on the layer that should be over the line art. On this layer, I usually paint some lustre for the hair, lips and eyes.

African-American pin-up finally gained a platform when the magazine Jet, which published material related to the African-American community, was created in 1951. Jet supported pin-up with their full-page feature called “Beauty of the Week”, where African-American women posed in swimsuits and the like. This was intended to showcase the beauty African-American women possessed in a world where their skin color was under constant scrutiny. It was not until 1965 that Jennifer Jackson became the first African American to be published in Playboy as Playmate of the Month.

Make your Pinup art sexy, not sleazy

The client asked to create Pop Art /comic book Style Characters to represent his product in a marketing campaign and as part of the packaging. Among the other well-known artists specializing in the field were Earle K. Bergey, Enoch Bolles, Gil Elvgren, George Petty, Rolf Armstrong, Zoë Mozert, Duane Bryers[13] and Art Frahm. Notable contemporary pin-up artists include Olivia De Berardinis, known for her pin-up art of Bettie Page and her pieces in Playboy. Creative Bloq is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher.

Sarahjane Blum is an author, cultural historian, and co-owner of Grapefruit Moon Gallery, which specializes in original American illustration art. Elias is a professional illustrator and pin-up artist with over 10 years’ experience. He’s worked with US comic publishers such as Zenescope, Dynamite and IDW. In Europe, prior to the First World War, the likes of “Miss Fernande” (who some identify as Fernande Barrey[6][7]), were arguably the world’s first pin-ups in the modern sense. Miss Fernande displayed ample cleavage and full frontal nudity, and her pictures were cherished by soldiers on both sides of the First World War conflict.


The origins of pin-up art can be traced back to the late 1800s with the rise of “cheesecake” art, which featured scantily-clad women in suggestive poses. This type of art was popularized by artists such as Charles Dana Gibson and J.C. Leyendecker, and was often featured in magazines and advertisements.

True, the subjects are super-hot and usually in fairly provocative poses, but they always fall on the right side of sexy without being lewd. Nothing says “unique” like custom pin-up girl artwork designed just for you by a professional artist. We’ve collected some amazing examples of pin-up girl art from our global community of illustrators.


I’m all for technology and the digital tools we have available, mainly because they enable me to save time. Yet I still use traditional media such as pencils, inks or markers, both for my initial drawings and laying down the final lines. Great artwork tells a story, makes people look twice, and creates a unique experience that can’t be matched. Art and illustrations communicate all of that through color, shape and other design elements.

Aly Fell has been creating alluring, attractive and often quite dangerous characters for years, and puts his growing female fan base down to avoiding only passive muses or sexy sluts. Today’s artists, however, are more likely to make a series of personal images, to be shared online. There are fewer filters to pass through before their art is in front of thousands of eager eyes, giving them the freedom to subvert norms. Once you’ve got your composition, you can then begin sketching out your pin-up. If you’re new to art or just need to brush up on our skills, you’ll find a great variety of free lessons on our site. So, the first thing to decide upon is which celebrity to draw – do you go for a personal favorite or choose someone who’s flavor of the month?

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It’s a good idea to get down a few early drafts, either on paper or digitally – whatever suits your creative approach. For this workshop, the theme is a pin-up girl, so I want the character to channel the two distinct features for this type of artwork, which is to be sweet and sexy. The artist has a distinctive style and is influenced by rockabilly fashion and gritty subject matter. Ever since prehistoric man picked up a piece of slate and drew an attractive girl on the wall of his cave, pinups have played an enduring part in popular culture. The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of “glamour” photography, which was characterized by highly-stylized images of women in elegant and provocative poses.

Get inspired and start planning the perfect pin-up girl art today. Now I paint the shaded parts of the face and body, using a colour that’s slightly darker than the one I have selected for the skin. Next, I again select the skin’s main colour and lighten it slightly, before painting the lighter parts of the body. I take care not to overdo the lighting and shading during this stage. Comics push boundaries in a range of ways – from homosexual marriage to tackling race issues and terrorism; they are also home to plenty of male pin-ups!

Pin-up model

Though Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page are often cited as the classic pin-up, there were many Black women who were also considered to be impactful. In the 1920s the most notable black burlesque dancer was Josephine Baker. Dorothy Dandridge and Eartha Kitt also added to the pin-up style of their time, using their looks, fame, and personal success.

Next, I select one of my custom brushes called marker 1 and play around with the colours – just enough to give the flower a more natural look. Then with a default Photoshop brush (see free Photoshop brushes for some ideas) set to 100 per cent Hardness, I draw small circles on the petals, also randomly. I select the hair layer with the Lock Transparent Pixels option checked. Next, with a default brush set to zero per cent Hardness, I colour the shaded parts of the hair, choosing which parts will be dark. I follow the same process, alternating between a darker colour and then a lighter one. The variety of colours help to give the character’s hair a sense of volume.

Pinup Clip Art Royalty Free

The choice is yours – all you have to do next is learn how to create a good composition. From the posters of Betty Grable on every GI’s locker during World War II, through to Marilyn Monroe and latter-day eye candy such as Megan Fox, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, the power of the pinup remains stronger than ever. This is a list of notable artists who work primarily in the medium of the pin-up.