Kobe Bryant’s legendary career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers was amazing in and of itself. However, his incredible drive is what inspired me. Michael Jordan is known for his competitive spirit, but Bryant will be known for his determination. I thought that could be a great combination for an expressionist painting similar to the LeRoy Neiman inspired Rocky IV painting I started. In these piece I wanted to capture both the youth and similar essence in both players. Kobe was known for modeling his game after Michael Jordan. What if you could capture that in a painting? The Neiman expressionist painting technique of using brilliant colors and brush strokes could be that way to capture these iconic basketball players.
Good artists copy, great artists stealSteve Jobs or Pablo Picasso
Copying vs. Integrating Styles
In my quest to find my own orignal style I’ve found myself copying others until I find ways to improve on what my inspirations have done. Kobe Bryant’s style of play was so similar to Michael Jordan that he was known for copying this great legend. Why not model your style after a legend? Kobe was regularly compared to Jordan anyway.
Steve Jobs once had a quote, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” However Jobs took that quote from Pablo Picaso who probably stole that from someone else. Is an artist truly ever an original?
As I copy LeRoy Neiman’s artistic style in this painting, I’ll make my own adjustments to it to truly make it my own.
The LeRoy Neiman style is really defined by brush movement and the ability to let the colorful background do most of the work for you. In this blog, I’ll break down the drawing process I used on my iPad Pro and demonstrate in Procreate how to paint Kobe Bryant in the LeRoy Neiman expressionist style.View the Real-Time Painting Tutorial on Patreon
Step 4: Picking the Color Palette
I wanted to stick with the Los Angeles Laker uniform colors but find others that harmonize with them. Procreate has that option within the “Colors” panel. The “Harmony” tab can be found at the bottom where you can pick one color and it finds other colors that harmonize with it on the color wheel. I selected a Laker gold and picked the “Triadic” option. The color wheel selected two other colors for me to paint the background.
Step 7: Create a Kobe Layer
Create a “Kobe” layer between the sketch and blacks layers. Start painting in your choice of colors to develop Kobe’s figure. I suggest lightening the opacity of the sketch layer when you feel comfortable painting without it. Continue to refer to a subject photo to determine value.