Friday, March 7, 2014

LeRoy Neiman Frank Sinatra Tribute Painting

This painting is a clustering of my adolescent experience.  It represents a point when I first started buying Playboy magazine and listening to Frank Sinatra.  What initiated my interest in the magazine were the beautiful women, however as I moved on to reading the articles, I found the magazine to be smart, stylish and inspiring.  I also started reading other similar magazines such as Esquire, Mens Health and National Geographic.  These magazines made me feel like the world had so much to offer, and to appreciate the sophistication in art, quality in material goods, and travel.  To complement my sense of style, I started listening to jazz and Frank Sinatra.  Sinatra to me was the ultimate guy to look up to. He dressed nice, was cool and collective, women loved him, and his music was classy.
A couple years ago I read about the death of a painter named LeRoy Neiman.  I was shocked when I read the news because it wasn’t until that moment that I realized who he was.  Neiman was considered the go-to artist for Playboy, having been featured numerous times and even responsible for creating the Femlins (the female figures on the party jokes page).  Most people will remember him for his painting in the ending of Rocky 3 (as Eye of the Tiger plays).  It was sad to hear about his death; however it was also cool to find out that he had done so many famous paintings.  In honour of his legacy I decided to reproduce one of my favorite paintings by him, Frank Sinatra on the cover of the Duets album.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a clear enough picture of the original, so I had to use a picture that I found online instead.  It’s still a nice picture because I was able to look at the details and colors carefully.  I used a canvas and paints that I bought at the dollar store.  I still feel like I’m just getting back into painting so I want to keep my hobby on a budget.  I found this painting to be very enjoyable because I was also listening to my Frank Sinatra collection on my ipod as I painted.  Like most paintings, I started with the background first and worked my way up to the main figure.  Everything was quick to do, however the face and hat was where I spent most of my time.  I can admit the face isn’t exactly like the original, but I’m okay with that because I’m happy with my final result. In the end what matters most is being satisfied with what you can paint and continuing to get better.
LeRoy Neiman Wiki:
Frank Sinatra Duets:
YouTube:

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