Saturday, October 31, 2015

Illustration: It's Only a Paper Moon

This week's Colour Collective colour was Apricot and I went with the 1933 song It's Only a Paper Moon, music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E Y Harburg and Billy Rose. 

It was originally written for the 1933 Broadway play The Great Magoo, set on Coney Island. It was a huge flop, and I particularly like this review from a 1998 revival:

The action opens in Coney Island at the height of the Great Depression. Nicky (...), a womanizing barker and songwriter, has fallen hard for hoochie-coochie dancer Julie (...), an ambitious entertainer whose sights are set on the Great White Way. For Nicky, Julie is the real "magoo," i.e., the woman of his dreams. However, both lovers are Olympic-caliber boozers who swan dive into the gutter at the least hint of a romantic reversal. Irritatingly, the Sturm und Drang in this show-biz soap opera is primarily of their own perverse devising.

I decided to go with a slightly seedier night-club vibe with this illustration, to match the setting the song was originally written for. No flowers and star-filled skies for this girl, and I think she's been hitting the (peroxide) bottle a little too hard...

Say, it's only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me.

Yes, it's only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me.

Without your love
It's a honky tonk parade.
Without your love
It's a melody played in a penny arcade.

It's a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phoney as it can be
But it wouldn't be make-believe 
If you believed in me.

Here's Ella Fitzgerald singing it:

This in number 13 in my series of Colour Collective Fadeway Girls. I wonder how long it will be before they set a colour that I absolutely cannot link to any song with 'Moon' in the title? =P It was fun, this week, to work out how to keep the fadeaway dress while it was all fringing and sequins. It took a couple of tries to get it to this point, but I think it works well.

Adobe Photoshop CC2015 on a Wacom Cintiq Compaion 2. About three hours.

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