Thursday, September 02, 2010
John Wayne's Best Scene Ever
American Cowboy Magazine, which I confess I'd never heard of before they called, gave me a great assignment last week. They wanted a drawing of the famous "Fill Your Hands" gunfight from the John Wayne classic True Grit. As any illustrator might know, when you get the assignment that aligns with topics or content that you already LOVE, the resulting drawing is most assuredly doomed. You can't get enough distance from your obsession to evaluate it. (Like a surgeon operating on his own wife, or something.) True Grit is one of those movies that my dad taught me to love at a young age... like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters and The Sting.
With the bar set appropriately high- I watched the movie again. If you don't know the scene or haven't seen the film, it offers one of the immortal lines in the Western patheon. Perhaps even more memorable is the way he cocks the rifle one-handed, by spinning it around the cocking bar. Translating this into a drawing gave me an opportunity to goof around and try a few methods that might be more at home in my sketchbook. I've attached a few of the color comps and how my first sketch looked in their layout, which was also in progress. Turned out to be a fun diversion for the week. And I did the whole drawing while wearing an eyepatch.