My loosely-based creation was influenced by Ernie Barnes - the professional football player and visual artist.
First, on the talented Barnes.
His teammates on the San Diego Chargers nicknamed him “Big Rembrandt” because he was always scribbling on pieces of paper.
He ended up painting vivid and highly acclaimed images from the playing field and from African-American life. He’s most famous for “Sugar Shack,” which shows African-Americans dancing at the Durham Armory. Marvin Gaye used a version of it for an album cover, and a print of it appeared in the closing credits of the sitcom “Good Times.”
It was this work, “The Drum Major”, that got my attention for my own cartoon piece. I chose some of his colors and his subject to craft my own character - a reincarnated, half-snake/half-human, Egyptian guardian who wants nothing more than to lead a marching band in her own fashion. Absurd concept? Absolutely. But really fun to make.
Certainly not as dynamic as the long, lean figures from Barnes, but a subject I learned from during this course. As I get more comfortable in working with color, I hope to push the creative envelope more.