12: An Elderly Person

The last photo/video I saw of Ravi Shankar came from the 70’s when he looked sort of like I always imaged Jesus would if he was slightly more Indian than Middle-Eastern.

Ravi Shankar

For some reason today I was really itching to use a great blues guitarist as my subject matter.  I don’t know why.  I went looking at all the bigger names like Clapton and Paul Butterfield and members of The Band, but turns out they’re only in their late sixties.  That’s not really that old.  Then it turned out that Ravi Shankar is 91.  That’s significantly elderly, and the man plans a MEAN sitar.

I thought about doing BB King. Decided in favor of Ravi at the last second.

Also, I should probably mention for posterity that the ink lines for this piece were traced from a photograph.  A lot of people decry tracing as cheating, and there is some truth to it, but as an animator I have learned to embrace tracing.  A lot of your favorite cartoons simply wouldn’t be possible if artists didn’t trace to learn how to draw the characters and in-betweeners didn’t trace keyframe art.  If you’re trying to draw something you’ve never drawn before, tracing it can be a very useful tool towards re0creating it on your own later.  Working your hand over the proportions instead of trying to eyeball them can help you notice things about the subject you might not have it you were just looking at it.  You develop a very basic sense of muscle memory.

Tracing gets a bad rap when people lie about it.  NEVER claim you didn’t trace something you did, and never use something you traced for profit or as a final piece.  I don’t consider these draw challenges to be final-quality artwork, otherwise I would never have posted this here.  However, all the coloring and shading were done freehand.