Johnny Cash is now finished. Yeah I know, not much of a progress right? Let me explain what happened.
From the get go I was struggling with this piece I started with a profile shot and though I liked it, I just didn't think it captured Cash. I wanted a shot of him playing music, but couldn't find a view I was happy with. So I went to a piece that I felt showed a little bit of his pain in his eyes. Now to me the older he got the more pain I can see, but I didn't want to paint him white-haired either.
I wanted him in that tradition from rockabilly to country, so I settled on this picture. And there was the problem.... I settled. Normally it just clicks and I know, bam, that's the one for me. With Johnny, all of the images that clicked were of him all zoot suited and skinny as a rail. I was concerned that if I did one of those pieces many people wouldn't recognize him. So I had to walk the line (pun intended) of recognizable and still fun to caricature.
I did the sketch, but I didn't see Johnny at all and it sure didn't look like it was going to be a successful caricature, at least not to me.
I walked away for a couple days. I didn't have any kind of deadline on this piece so luckily I could do that. As corny as it sounds when I came back I put on the legend of Johnny Cash and just listened to it over and over again as I figured him out.
So why no progress shots you say? Well I'll tell ya. What I realized was my sketch sucked, not all of it but most of it, so I cut out the entire face and just went straight to paint, no sketching, just the brush.
All of a sudden he was there! Every stroke, I could see him more and more so I kept going and 9 hrs later BOOM he was there. I was sort of free styling a bit and I had no concept of how much time had passed, I just got that excitement you get when you can see a piece take shape so I didn't save along the way.
This would have been terrible if Photoshop froze or crashed, but luckily it didn't. That of course also led to no progress shots for you guys. So here is the finished piece. I wanted a loose, painterly look that still captured a detailed caricature.
I think I got it and for my 3rd digital painting I'm happy with my progress in the medium. Let me know what you guys think about it and as always...... keep drawing!!!!