I have had two musical constants throughout my life: Elvis Presley and “Weird Al” Yankovic. I may have memorized the lyrics to Blue Suede Shoes first, but learning to irritate my mom and dad by reciting the whole “Spatula City” commercial from UHF (complete with Spatula City jingle) over and over was much more important to me. I’ve gone through the years from the short, tight and lovely white man afro and glasses years of Mr. Yankovic to the now clean shaven and contact lens wearing Al. I have seen him live…he is awesome and his band is unbelievably tight. One thing that hasn’t seemed to change is the way he handles his parody material. While many parodists poke fun in a mocking way, he seems to do it in a more, “We’re both having fun here, right?” kind of way. That’s not to say that he isn’t very direct in his approach.
I chose to paint him clean shaven, as he’s often seen now. I wanted his serious face (he poses with his crazy eyes for almost every reference photo I found) to be juxtaposed by his gag gun to relate his true dedication to producing great music with the fact that ultimately, he makes funny songs. I handled the stage lights in the background with a fusion watercolor technique to pop the tighter linework in his hair. All hail the pop music poacher extraordinaire.
I was reminded how much I miss painting in watercolor by a Drawger post by my friend, former instructor and truly skillful Jeffrey Smith and an amazing book of theater posters by the ridiculously talented and thoughtful James McMullan. Unfortunately, because of time and day job responsibilities, 2011 brought me very little time, space or energy to sit down and paint. Happily, this painting really didn’t take very long so here’s to 2012 and more watercolor paintings.
Have a great day!