Monday, December 4, 2006
The assignment was a simple charicature/ portrait piece. Why did I choose Brody Dalle? Being the rock fiend that I was, I really wanted to do another guitar-centric piece (after my other self-portrait piece, yet to be posted here). Sure, there are plenty of interesting characters to choose from in the realm of rock, but why go for some craggy, world-weary male guitarist when I could focus on the beautiful Brody Dalle: guitarist/ vocalist for the Distillers. I think I was actually listening to the Distillers at the time, which sealed the deal, and the not-unpleasant search for reference pics began.
As you can see with the original sketch, I intended to have a larger head and shoulders portrait next to the figure shot, but it just didn't seem to fit. The "living dragon tattoo" idea may seem a bit cliche, but I became so enamored of this lovely, detailed twisting dragon tattoo on her arm that I figured if I was going to put the time and effort into all those scales and fins, I was going to make it count! Plus, I couldn't settle on a visual shorthand for the tattoo detail, and it wouldn't work to include such detail in a tatto that would have been rather small and not the focus of the piece. The solution: grow that tattoo out and go to town on it! I like the underlying drawing, but I'm not 100% satisfied with the color final. I think I managed to keep the dragon tattoo from overpowering Brody herself, but the background seems a bit rushed and uninspired. Deadlines forced my hand, but I may go back and fiddle with it some more later.
Pen & ink with photoshop.