Recorded and released in 1956, "Who Do You Love ?" is an iconic Rock-n-Roll standard, written by Ellas McDaniel, more commonly known as Bo Diddley. Regarded as one of Bo Diddley's strongest lyrical efforts, "Who Do You Love ?" uses numerous voodoo related images. It is believed the title itself is actually a play on words, referring to HooDoo, an African American religion, which has origins in West Africa, similar to Voodoo. Released on Checker Records, a subsidiary of Chess Records, "Who Do You Love failed to reach the record charts, until it was re-released on Bo Diddley's first compilation of hits in 1958, according to Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Do_You_Love%3F_(Bo_Diddley_song)
According to Songfacts.com, http://forum.songfacts.com/index.php?/topic/10582-meaning-of-lyrics-who-do-you-love/ , some of the obscure yet fascinatingly descriptive lyrics can be translated this way... " for the 47 miles of barbed wire. It means he's been in jail a long time, walking outside in a courtyard surrounded by barbed wire for half an hour per day, at the most." "An 'ice wagon' was also slang for a hearse, or the ambulance that picked up a dead body."
Considered a classic among many rock artists, "Who Do You Love ?", would be recorded by numerous iconic rock stars, including, Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks (aka The Band), Quicksilver Messenger Service, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
One final footnote, and also according to wikipedia, Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Who Do You Love" at number 133 on it's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". In 2010, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences acknowledged it with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, which "honor[s] recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance."
This started as a sketch on my ipad, using my go to app, ArtRage. I laid down the colors I felt I wanted to go with, and when I was semi satisfied with it, I imported it to my iMac, recreated the line art in Adobe Illustrator, imported that into Photoshop as a smart object and used it for my line art layer.
I used some water color brushes to lay down the type of background I wanted, and also to search and find the water color brushes that I would use for the rest of the painting. As I worked on it, I found various objects in the line art that I wanted to change, or that I felt needed re-working, particularly the Cobra head. In the original sketch it didn't look enough like a cobra. At first it didn't bother me, but the more I looked at it, the more I felt it needed to be fixed. Once you start thinking like that, you need to listen to the voices in your head.
I also decided early on, not to paint the background with any amount of detail. I wanted the character to be the focal point of the design. I felt keeping in just shades of one color would be a good way to do that. What do you guys think ?
As always, I look forward to your comments. If you think you know someone that may enjoy this, please share...http://www.martytoons.com/newsletter
Thanks... talk to ya next time.
I found very little information on line regarding the history of Chuck Berry's song, Hail Hail Rock n-Roll. Google will provide numerous links to the Chuck Berry documentary with the same title (a very interesting film by Talyor Hackford, featuring a much younger Keith Richards, check it out if you get the chance). But I can only assume the song is one of the 26 singles Chuck Berry released between 1955 and 1962, on Chess Records, according to Gibson.com http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/hail-hail-chuck-berry-invents-rock-0726-2012.aspx . An educated guess is that due to the fact that songwriting back then may not have been as introspective as it would become in the next few years, a history per se, just doesn't exist. Maybe Chuck just needed a song and he slapped this together, like many others of that era. That's not to say it isn't a good song, many great songs have been written quickly. Chuck Berry's library of hit songs is iconic at the very least. With that said, Hail Hail Rock n Roll simply seems to be about one teen's dreary day at school, simply watching the clock until he (or she) can hit street and head "right to the juke joint" and dance that days's blues away. That's good enough for me... it is rock and roll after all.
I have to be honest, the more I look at last week's post, the more I'm dissatisfied with it. It looks rushed, and very unpolished. I wanted to avoid that this week, so I decided to dust off Photoshop and see what I could do. It's been awhile since I did anything intensive in Photoshop, so I really just explored alot as I was working. I've been looking for a more a layered, textured look for some of my designs, and I believe I came close to what I was looking for here.
The first thing I did, was rough out the initial design in my sketchbook, and lay down some colored pencils, for what would become my guide when I brought it into my Mac. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@martytoons) may have seen this as one of my recent posts.
The next thing I did was create the black line art in Illustrator, using the pencil sketch as a template. I imported the .ai file into Photoshop, and then used a ton of layers to color, shade, and add detail. For almost the entire coloring process, I experimented with various water color brushes until I got the effect I was looking for.
As always, I hope you like this. Please feel free to leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you. Until next week, keep Chuck's wise words in mind...
"Long live rock and roll
The beat of the drums, loud and bold
Rock, rock, rock and roll
The feeling is there, body and soul" - Marty
The Martytoon Newsletter
The Thoughts, Designs & Process of Marty Qatani aka MartyToons.
Hi and welcome to the first blog post / newsletter of the all new revamped MartyToons website. Where to start ? I suppose a quick intro is in order for those of you who may be unfamiliar with me and what I do. I'm a cartoonist / character designer/ humorous illustrator. That sounds like a lengthy title, but none of those by themselves seems appropriate enough by themselves to describe what I do.
If I call myself a cartoonist, people tend to think I create a comic strip.... not true. If I call myself just a character designer, it seems a little limiting to me. I like to think I do a little bit more... make people think... wake people up, help someone remember a happy thought.... maybe even put a smile on people's faces.... hopefully. Calling myself just a humorous illustrator, just doesn't seem to have any "punch", "pizzazz", "sparkle"... you get the picture. I do like the sound of "Creator of Visual Enhancements for Artistically Challenged and Cartooning Impaired." It has a pretty cool ring to me, but it's a little hard to fit on a business card and still look cool.
What can you expect here ? How's a little doodle sound ? A little peek into what goes on in my working process and maybe even in my thought process ? That's my plan... I hope you enjoy. So let me dig into my archive, maybe shed a little light on happened and then invite you to comment. Sounds good ? Good... then lets get to it.
This is an early sketch of one of my favorite designs I'm working on. It's inspired by one of my favorite music artists, Cat Stevens, who know goes by the name of Yusuf Islam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens . Check him out if you get the chance and are a fan of 70's "Soft" Rock, and especially if you're a fan of songs about being positive, hopefullness, and becoming a little wiser.
Music is playing more and more a part in my designs. I love many styles of music and I always have it playing in my studio while I'm creating. Alot of times I let the music direct what I'm going to sketch when I intentionally sit down to sketch, sometimes I'm not planning on sketching at all, but I hear a song and an image will just pop into my head, and I have to get it down on paper. I believe that's what happened here, but to be honest, I came up with this sketch several years ago, and I can't remember the exact circumstances that gave birth to this.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy it. Got any questions ? Feel free to comment below.