Sketchbook Update: Lee Marvin

Sketch of Lee Marvin from 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'

Yesterday’s warm-up sketch was a pseudo-caricature of the villainous Lee Marvin in the classic western “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”. I decided to add some b&w washes and pretty soon I was experimenting with several painting techniques in Photoshop. The result is a bit overworked and contrasty, but if you can’t make mistakes in your sketchbook where can you make them?

‘Valance’ is considered by many to be John Ford’s greatest western. There’s some big-name talent involved – it stars Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, and it was Marvin’s breakout role. It’s also the movie where John Wayne started calling someone “Pilgrim”. It’s a decent flick with a powerful twist ending. Unfortunately the story is undermined by Marvin’s silly costume. He’d be a very threatening villain if he didn’t look like a prissy schoolboy playing cowboy dress-up. I kept expecting him to reach into his holster and pull out a lollipop. If you’re going to dress like that you’d better act tough. Still worth renting though.