Elvis Partaking of a Large Cola Outside Flagstaff

“Elvis Partaking of a Large Cola Outside Flagstaff” is part of a larger image that is inspired by lyrics from the song “A Private Understanding” by the band, Protomartyr.

Elvis outside of Flagstaff Driving a camper van Looking for meaning in a cloud mass Sees the face of Joseph Stalin And is disheartened Then the wind changed the cloud into his smiling Lord And he was affected profoundly But he could never describe the feeling He passed away on the bathroom floor

From the lyrics above you can surmise what some of the other images may contain. The idea is simple: begin a series of works inspired by song lyrics. I spend a lot of time listening to music, letting the sounds and words paint pictures in my mind, and this felt like a simple way to drum up ideas for images. Once finished, I can share the images while also sharing a love for the music that inspired them. It just so happened that I started with this song.

I find Elvis both ridiculous and intriguing. Ridiculous because of the out-sized nature of his personality, the whole “The King” moniker, the corniness of his music, costumes, and the sad comeuppance of his decline. Intriguing in that hordes of people idolize the man, collect gobs of kitschy Elvis memorabilia and music – all of which seems quintessentially American. American, like the desert west, Cowboy hats, and ginormous quick-mart sodas.

Elvis Image Process

I started by searching online for images of Elvis I liked and felt would work for the vague ideas I had for the overall image. I didn’t have a clear direction, more so letting what I found lead me to where it may. For this particular image I found a couple of images I felt would work, then put together a quick collage of them to serve as a visual reference. I sketched out a base drawing using the collage as reference. Below I have a cropped out section of the collage I used for the sketch.

I know just about zero when it comes to comic-book type drawing, or cartoon drawing, or however you would describe this style of art. It was with a complete lack of knowledge about style or approach that I sought to bring this thing to color. I relied on David Revoy’s YouTube videos for direction using the Krita painting program, as well as inspiration for how I might do this.

This picture of Elvis stands as a moment in learning a process and approach. The interesting thing, for me, will be to see how the other images progress and then trying to figure out how to combine them in the final image without each one looking as if executed by a different person. I say this expecting to hone an approach to these images as I make my way through them, becoming more adept at the tools at my disposal in Krita, finding a groove, or style along the way.

Author: Jason Jacobs

Jason Jacobs is an artist, project manager, and frontend web designer living and working in Boise, Idaho. Beyond work he spends his time with family, as well as reading, writing articles for Uhmm, and working on his art. All words and opinions, etc., are his and do not reflect the positions or beliefs of anyone other than himself.