News & Updates: Tribute Caricature of Prince



Posted: Thursday, May 05, 2016


It’s been two weeks since the legendary Prince passed away. When I heard the news I was shocked. I mean, death is something that people don’t plan for and I think we all like to think everyone is going to have a deathbed moment and accidents and tragedies are things that happen to other people.

Granted, I never knew Prince personally, and I’m extremely sad to say I’ve never seen him in concert, but still it made me a bit sad. I was a fan of Prince. The day he died my Twitter and Instagram feed blew up with fan art of Prince. As a fan my first thought was, was this artist even a real Prince fan? I was (and still am) skeptical of most of the posts, because when celebrities die a lot of people who have never associated themselves with that person want to pay tribute. I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong with paying tribute to someone, but I felt like a lot of the tributes to Prince were potentially self-serving and capitalizing on a person passing away.

This year we’ve lost a lot of talented artists, such as David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Lemmy (to name a few). I have never pretended to be a huge fan of David Bowie’s music, so illustrating him and suddenly buying all of his records would seem kind of deceptive. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed his acting way more than his music, but I digress.

However in contrast, when Prince died I wanted to illustrate him because I LOVE Prince’s music; I LOVE the movie Purple Rain, I LOVE what Prince did as an innovative force in art. I did not want to appear like I was trying to jump on the bandwagon though, so I waited a few weeks to really give it some thought and try and do something nice for a musical genius that I really appreciated during his life (and now still).

I did a few sketches of him from the Diamond and Pearl-era (which is my favorite of his) and took it up to a final illustration.


Initial line-art sketch of Prince. I drew it on tracing paper because I knew I would later use it as a template.

Initial line-art sketch of Prince. I drew it on tracing paper because I knew I would later use it as a template.




Possibly my favorite song from Prince is “Cream”. I took the sketch I made and tried to do it again using only a purple micron and purple brush pen. I want to further explore this concept of using the lyrics inside of the artwork in a future piece.



Thank you Prince for showing us what a real musician and artist was.


Admittedly this isn’t along the lines of what I usually try to adhere to when creating a caricature, because it is really a likeness and there is no real story in there at all; I normally emphasize telling a story in a caricature. However, this is only a tribute. I do have a more story-driven caricature that I will be working on this year.