Monday, September 8, 2008

Sir Elton



Every month on the National Caricaturist's Network forums they run a contest where a subject is chosen and everyone is invited to upload a caricature of that person. Though a prize is awarded to the winner, I think the real fun is just in the drawing and jumping into the fray. August's subject was Elton John. There were some really neat entries this time around and I decided to sketch Elton from a combo of his short interview on "The Lion King" DVD, plus from watching him in concert in various YouTube clips. As I've mentioned on here before, I always prefer to work from video footage as opposed to still photos, as I get a far better feel for the physical design and personality of my subject that way. Incidentally, when did Elton go from being that skinny balding kid he started out as, to the middle-aged pudgy with the wig?

As it happened, the winner of this month's contest was...me!! Much thanks to the judges who liked what I came up with. Though I sketched from several sources to arrive at this finished colour caricature, the main reference I used was this duet Elton sings with gorgeous Shania Twain. Watching and listening to it many times over while I sketched actually gave me a new appreciation for Elton's "Something About The Way You Look Tonight". It really is a lovely song with a powerful melody. I can't claim to have been much of an Elton John fan through the many years he's been on the scene, but I find that his songs do hold up well, and they're probably much finer compositions than I'd previously given him credit for. My younger sister always liked him, but I'm still decidedly more a fan of Sinatra and his contemporaries than I am of anything my peers were into back in the 70's. I reckon I was just born old...

10 comments:

idragosani said...

I've been thinking of joining the NCN, I'm no pro, just a budding amateur. I notice their convention is actually on the East coast, which is great (seems these things are usually on the West coast).

crylic said...

Nice one, Pete.

Bitter Animator said...

Congrats, Mr.E! A great and spot-on drawing of Elton.

kencoogan said...

Congrats Pete! A deserving winner!!

Kevin Kidney said...

First of all, you were just born COOL - not old.

Congratulations, Pete - that's an excellent drawing!

Hugo Freutel said...

Nice Elton John. I like the reflections, it makes it natural.

roz said...

heya pete!
first off, congrats on winning!

what im really posting for is to add my two cents on your digital dilemma ( since i just read through the reset of your entries). Im not sure how long ago you got your bamboo, but it generally takes somewhere between 2-6 months to adjust to using it. once your comfortable, the whole rotating the paper thing becomes a nonissue. personally i find the way around it is to enlarge the area youre working on. that being said, I almost never ink digitally, its just too time consuming. if your clients are worried about scaling just scan your lines at 3000dpi or higher for really large works.

also if youre using multiply to make your lines transparent, your going to run into some very very serious snags if you ever use for than two layers. The best way to get transparencies is to copy one of your channels and load it as a selection. I could probably find you a tutorial if you'd like.

i'd say good luck but really, its just practice :)

patrick said...

I love the pattern in his collar!! I love all your caricatures by the way.

nappy-rash-cream-lover said...

This is fantastic!

Eric Z said...

Awesome. Great job Pete you caricatures are amazing.