Monday, February 1, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Dancing Under the Stars

From what I've seen in Dancing With the Stars a big height mismatch is real challenge where you're trying to hold a solid frame with correct posture and still make good eye contact with your partner. Take a look at poor 6'7" NBA star, Clyde Drexler, with his 5'4" partner, Elena Grinkecko. His longing gaze is searching for the nearest exit door while Elena valiantly tries to reach his shoulder and guide him around the floor. Granted he didn't seem to put much effort into the show, but I remember judges telling him to extend and not dance small. I can tell you it takes some guts to get out on a dance floor and not think that everyone is waiting to see what goofy moves the tall guy/girl is going to do.

Having said that -short, tall, fat, skinny - don't be self conscience and hold back. Have a good time! Get out there, and cut a rug on the dance floor!

About the art:

When debating on what stars to caricature I noticed the Seinfeld cast had a wide range of heights: Jerry Seinfeld-5'11", Michael Richards-6'3", Jason Alexander-5'4", Julia Louis Dreyfus-5"3", Patrick Warburton-6'3". Richards' lanky height just adds to his physical humor as Kramer, as Warburton's huge, solid frame contrasts next to Julia's tiny, animated figure. Their heights were taken from a fun site I found, I was going to pair Jason Alexander with a tall actress like Sigourney Weaver when I remembered an episode where Kramer and George ended up as a "couple" at some black tie party. I tried to capture their personalities and body language in this. The garish electric blue and fuchsia color scheme were to scream, "Dancing With the Stars", glam. The rough pencil sketch was scanned in and inked and chalked in ArtRage3 Studio Pro. I'm not sure the chalk works here, but I ran out of time to change course.

Knowing that very few people have viewed this, I completely reworked the illustration in ArtRage and Photoshop. It was driving me crazy to look at it! I toned down the blue color, gave Kramer and Puddy a makeover, and tried to make the lights look less like red blood cells. I realized Michael Richards is bit bulky in the neck with hunched shoulders rather than gangly. By firming up the background oval I felt I could drop the floor reflections and still have the characters feel grounded. Ah! I feel much better now.

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