Monday, November 8, 2010

Jack Burton

Son of a bitch must pay. Big Trouble in Little China is definitely one of my favorite movies. Most definitely up there with They Live and John Carpenter's other greats. Anyways, Jack Burton is simply a boss, and Kurt Russell really does a great job of giving Jack the charisma he deserves. If you haven't seen the movie, do so immediately. If you don't hate it, you'll probably love it. This halloween I was out of ideas so I decided to be good ol' Jack. The tank-top/wife-beater that he wears throughout the movie is really awesome, and was created uniquely for the film. The graphic is nauseating but attractive at the same time, in full 80's form, and I decided to draw in on a white t-shirt. I then cut off the sleeves and cut the neck off to create a faux wife-beater. It turned out looking half decent, but nobody I ran into understood who I was, understandably. Basically, I was really into Big Trouble for a little bit, so I decided to try and turn Jack Burton into an illustration. I sketched out the following.

I actually liked the simple drawing quite a bit, mostly just because of the movie. But obviously it was missing something. So, I decided to ink it, and add my favorite line in the movie to fill in some empty space, because as we all know I'm absolutely awful at creating background imagery. I used a Faber Castel brush pen and assorted thicknesses of Micron pens to do this. I scanned it, dumped it into photoshop, and adjusted the levels (Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels, on Photoshop Elements) to wash out color and pencil marks that were picked up during the can. It then looked like this

I went for the old school font that is used in the original poster to add some extra flavor. I ended up not really getting the writing to look that much like the original, but using the same colors really made it obvious. Colors on Jack himself were pretty easy, as I decided to go for some cell-shading instead of gradients like I had just taught myself on my previous cowboy project. I had tried to use gradients, but it just wasn't looking the way I wanted, and I think cell-shading was really the right call. Simple flat colors with a light and light and dark shade for each. For the actual background I just went with a gradient as I didn't feel like spending the time to draw one out(I did this entire thing, sketch to finish, in one night in a few hours). I added a circular yellow>blue gradient, and decided to add some quick yellow highlights to the sides of Jack to give the gradient a subtle lighting effect. Finally, I dropped an old paper texture over it(same one I used for the sensei illustration). All in all, it was a simple drawing but I love the movie, and it reminds me of it a lot, so I'm pretty happy with it.