Tom Waits, Minus Tom Waits.

This week’s assignment for class is to do a portrait of a person (classmate, or famous figure) without actually portraying their face or body.  I had a few ideas, including Tori Amos and Mike Patton, either of which would be challenging and fun, but I settled quickly on Tom Waits.

His music’s not for everyone, but I love the guy.  His songs are really great at invoking mood and narrative; half of it’s heartbroken crooning from another time, the rest feels like cartoon carnival music written for an unreleased Tim Burton film.

This first picture is a little overcrowded I think, but has some common narrative elements scattered through the image to invoke the lyrics from some of the more (in)famous songs  in Waits’ repertoire.  Cigarettes, a pistol, spilled wine, the ubiquitous beaten up hat.  I listened to a bunch of his music (largely Blood Money, Alice and Rain Dogs) and watched some old video from Letterman and other live shows on Youtube, which was nice to help set the mood of the piece.

And then we have take 2, which in my opinion is a better drawing (I was warming up a bit), but I think the dramatic angle inherent in the first was probably more the sort of mood I’d like.  The spotlight will probably be light blue with the rest of the piece in black and white, maybe a little other spot color.  The second piece includes confetti (from Tango ‘Til They’re Sore) and the spot is heart-shaped (Blue Valentine).

We’ll see what the class has to say shortly.

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~ by jamescavoretto on February 9, 2012.

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