Gabba Gabba Hey!

Gabba Gabba Hey!

Summary: I share some of my process creating a faux Rolling Stone magazine cover of the Ramones. Giclee prints of the image are also made available!

One of the assignments for my MFA program is that we are asked to create an illustration by look back into illustration history and finding an artist whom we admire, then we are to work within that artists’ style/technique. The assignment was to create a faux magazine cover in their style of someone who is from their same era. I chose to work in that manner of Peter DeSevé who came to prominence in the 1980’s. He is best known for his New Yorker Covers (look them up, they are fantastic!) While he never has done a Rolling Stone cover, I chose to do a portrait of the Ramones for Rolling Stone Magazine… for pretends. It was really fun for me to get back in touch with my punk rock roots. Listening to alternative music was definitely formative for me as a youth growing up in rural Ohio.

It all started with a couple of sketches in my sketchbook.

Ramones 4 Ramones 2 Ramones 1

Then I put compiled those sketches together in Photoshop, and got to painting them. You’ll notice in the following image that there are two watercolors.

“Why is that?” the curious reader might well ask.

Well dear reader, let’s just say that sometimes the best way to move forward is to take a few steps back. In this case, I started the watercolor painting and, honesty, the very first move I made was a mistake. The initial wash was too gray. I thrashed around for a few days trying to correct it. I tried soaking the entire paper to wash off the paint, I tried scrubbing, but to no avail. The only thing left to do was do draw it over again. (le sigh.)


After that setback, I painted it all up and took it to Pasadena for the critique there. When I took it there I thought, “This one is done.” But I was wrong.

My MFA peeps had some really great feedback for me, and after I came home I went back into it to work it up in the hopes of making a stronger piece.

This is the “final” painting that I took to Pasadena.


Here is the corrected version. You can see that Joey Ramone (the lead singer) is a lot more developed and, Johnny Ramone (the guitarist) has had a little face work done.


Put it all together with some typography and baddabom… the Ramones are on the cover of Rolling Stone!


I have been sharing my process with supporters of my Patreon Page. Consider making a small monthly donation just to help me out while I’m working my way through school.

Prints are now available!

I am happy to say that I am having archival Giclee prints made of this image, and they are for sale… just in time for the holidays! Maybe you or a loved one would like to have a nice print of this hanging in their room. The prints are of the stand alone image, but if you’d like to have the faux Rolling Stone cover, please let me know and I’ll cook one up for you.


  • 8×10″ unframed print: $39

  • 11×14″ unframed print $49

  • 16×20″ unframed print $59

Contact me directly and we’ll arrange for a secure payment and shipping costs. Contact

As ever, thank you for taking the time to read through and follow me here on the interwebs!
Best Wishes,

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