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Rose, Thorn and Color Theory by AdamHughes Rose, Thorn and Color Theory by AdamHughes
Here's the 6 covers I did for DC Comics' ROSE & THORN miniseries several years ago. All were pen & ink illustrations colored in Photoshop.

I include them as one image because I was trying to be all long-haired & high-falutin' with my design idea: all the covers would use only red and green; a bang-on complimentary color theory.

I got the idea from going to the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. A bunch of Rockwell's SATURDAY EVENING POST covers used this amazingly restrictive palette of just red & green.

(and I know the earlier ones that were only printed with red & black inks were just as restrictive, but that is a tale for another time)

So, I tried my best to just use the colors of a red roses on these, with varying degrees of success. But a fun exercise!
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prof-ohmgee Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thorn is an awesome character.

Phenomenal work.
mfleury75 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
ArtemOrlov Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
Adam is KING!!!!!! ADAM IS KIIINNNGG!!!!
wonderseek Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
great expressions
SPITEREDESCENT Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2011
Fantastic art work on crazy Rose and thorn
Leoncillo Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010  Student Filmographer
Your images and artwork are so very inspirational. Your color scheme and line art, lighting, shading...I just look at your art and feel happiness and joy.

So thank you for sharing your hard work with the world <3
MirkAnd89 Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I absolutely love the 2 and 4! GREAT ART!
brunoadrego Featured By Owner May 13, 2009
Amazing! I don't know, there's just something in the way you color that makes it unique and instantly recognizable. Which reminds me... Hey, Adam, just a quick question: I know from listening to part 1 of your Sidebar interview that you were 'taught' the basics of color theory by Brian Stelfreeze, but I just wanted to ask you, where else have you learned color theory from. You're probably mostly self-taught, but where and how did you learn to paint?

If you have the time, I'd love to see this question answered (I think it'd really help out my coloring skills if I took some of the steps you took... sorry if that sounds weird :P ).

AdamHughes Featured By Owner May 20, 2009
Well, like any student who attended a quality school, I learned 'how to learn', so that once on my own in the real world, I could continue to gain insight from life all around me.

Basically, my take on color theory is: some color combinations look better than others, right? I just keep my eyes open for any color combinations in the real world that really create some fabulous harmony.

valiantonov Featured By Owner May 9, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Number five is one of my all time favorite. Ahh, who doesn't... :)
sashamya Featured By Owner May 5, 2009
my friend has a DC encyclopedia with the 4th image in it, loved the image there, love it here. you mix realism and illustration so well.
ZoMBieViLLe2000 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009

(I dont have any other words...Im mute... this is me typing...)
krystylillustrates Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2009
My compliments to the sexy complementary colors!
I absolutely love the throwback to Saturday Evening Post - and the expression on his face is amazing.
AdamHughes Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2009
Thank you very much!
EddyHyde Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2009
I REMEMBER THESE! Excellent job, sir! Indeed!
slowtoreact Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009
Holy shit.. These are really awesome. I love the different shades of green and red. You made it work. Great job.
Atillatemoc Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009
This, much like a fat mans speedo, is pretty tight! :D
noirfreeman23 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009
This is very awesome. I positviely adore Gail. Did you use live models for this?
tinysherpa Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009   Photographer
All of these are fucking amazing.
jinggle Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009
Nice! You should do more digital art! =D
hclark Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ok i'm loving the emotion from that first panel ....
ChazKemp Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Ya - I love all of them. lol The 4th one is quite creepy but the 5th one really got my attention. I almost flinched away. lol. Really well done!
Sektor2814 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2009
I've heard of the title but never really got a chance to read it. But yeah, I know what you mean about limiting the color palette and the varying degrees of success that come from such limitations....

I guess it's just like that Tesla song says, "Every rose has its thorns"....

*ba dum tish* bad pun...
dsantiag Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2009  Professional General Artist
The sixth one is my favorite! But all are just great!
DauntedNot Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Mine is the first. :)
gWebber Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2009
I remember several of these cover, outstanding work
Wendila Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
LineDetail Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Hey AH :) When you draw are you using a reference or is this just popping out of your head? Anatomy, lighting, room/atmosphere, colors and all?

AdamHughes Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009
Some of it is out of my head, some of it uses reference to help speed up the process or inform the technique.
I can fake it all relatively well, but studying life & nature helps put that extra STANK of believability to my junk...

hugeackman Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009   Digital Artist
promise me that's Lindze in cover 5, because if it isn't I'm going nuts.
JavEA5D Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2009   Digital Artist
Fav cover-inos are 4th and 5th from the left.

Just cos..

4th - Looked like her tongue was going through him.. it's the first one that caught my eyes.

5th - That's the perfect expression of "IN YO FAYCE~!"


Good job there, Hughes.
snowtato Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Such a brilliant homage to a classic genius. Even before I read the comments, I had been reminded of Rockwell: that fourth one from the left looks like a (very) twisted Saturday Evening Post cover.
yatoy Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2009
always amazing adam
VincentGordon Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2009
the read and green work fabulously
hmo Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
The second and fifth are delicious. I saw your work on one of the Wonder Woman books at the Barnes & Noble last I went and couldn't help but stand and marvel for a good ten minutes.

I think they thought I was about to stuff my hands down my pants or something....

In all seriousness, you're an enormous inspiration.
AdamHughes Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2009
That's awfully nice to hear; thank you so much for saying so.
dnoir Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think... you are officially one of my favorite artists ever. Seriously. Because this has to be one of the more memorable pieces I've ever seen of you and it's quite pleasing to the eye color wise, and composition wise, not to mention nicely stylized.
aiSAKU Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Wicked... very very wicked. O.o
FeyPhilosophy Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
the colors all work very well.
Creepy to see them all together!
Catwomans-stitches Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
The story behind Rose and Thorn is tragic and intriguing, but made beautiful by images like these. WOW AH! I love the use of red and green; it works so well because the colours are so hard for the eye to take in together, which makes perfect sense to use with the Rose and Thorn story. I love the straight-jacket cover, with ‘;property off’ written on, it’s great! The use of language is powerful when you notice it, but not overbearing to the eye at first glance, therefore, I just wanna keep looking at your art.
Adam, that’s the reason, you’ve made me, and I think so many other people notice your work, because it works on so many different levels, even though at first it can be viewed as beautiful, there’s a great depth to it too. Although I must admit, I love the beauty!
indoubadoubly Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow! kickass!
maartenvc Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
Really like them, great job.
Especially like the first (awesome creepy expression& double) and the third (great shot/perspective & lighting).
themlsna Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
The first is definitely the most striking, but I love the second to the last one as well.
Diul Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
this is great! i love the 5th one!
i dont know this character but the covers tell a lot about her =D
Kuroii-fuyu Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
Wow! This is great work!! (=
Oderaa Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
Interesting, what's going on with this character?
ObservationSubway Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009   Filmographer
Great idea.
Marly-kun Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
Holy crap. I'm so happy I found these. I adore Rose and Thorn. My friend got me into the series, and she'd LOVE these as well.
0ashana0 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh my gosh.
Those are so GREAT!
I simply adore the right three!
boisterouspaz Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
woah these are good!
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Submitted on
March 25, 2009
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